Enrollment remains down | SteamboatToday.com

Enrollment remains down

County's three school districts report declining numbers

Brent Boyer

Enrollment figures in each of Routt County’s three public school districts remain down as the state’s official pupil count date nears.

Wednesday is Colorado’s official student count date, which the state uses to determine each district’s official enrollment. However, student attendance on Oct. 1 doesn’t necessarily affect a district’s official enrollment because of the numerous ways the state allows districts to designate students as enrolled.

Colorado public school districts receive funding on a per-pupil basis, so the more students a district has, the more money that district will receive. But not all students who attend public school provide full funding for their districts. Kindergarten students, for instance, are only half-funded by the state.

Routt County districts have seen revenue fall in recent years as the number of students attending public schools in the area has decreased. This year hasn’t been much different, school officials said.

The South Routt School District — already the smallest in the county — will see the biggest drop in enrollment. Superintendent Steve Jones said the district is down about 30 students from last year. However, like the Steamboat Springs School District and the Hayden School District, South Routt is taking advantage of a provision in Colorado’s school finance act that allows districts to average their enrollment over a four-year or smaller period.

That provision will allow South Routt to soften the revenue blow by 17 students. Jones is predicting the district will receive funding for 417.5 students, about 13 students less than what the district received funding for last year.

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As of last Friday, projected enrollment in Steamboat public schools is down eight funded students.

In June, the district budgeted for a decrease of four funded students, Superintendent Donna Howell said. With per-pupil funding for the district set at $7,001, the additional loss in revenue will be about $28,000 on top of the $28,000 loss already projected.

While total student head count in Hayden schools is down, the district of 500 students likely will increase its revenue by one-half a funded student thanks to the four-year average provision in the school financing act, district business manager Jnl Linsacum said.

— To reach Brent Boyer call 871-4234

or e-mail bboyer@steamboatpilot.com