Archive for Wednesday, September 27, 2000

Enrollment continues climb

September 27, 2000

There is yet another sign that Baldwin is growing enrollment in the school district exceeded expectations by 40 students.

But that adds up to a good thing. The increase means more state funding for the district an additional $152,800 at a state-mandated $3,820 per student.

The district-wide tally Wednesday was 1,335 students, an increase of 74 students from last year's 1,261 students about a 1 percent boost.

School officials had budgeted for 1,295 students. Supt. James White said he expected an increase in enrollment because of all the new homes being built in town.

"If families with children are buying those homes, I think we will see an upward spiral in enrollment," White said.

He wasn't surprised by the count that was high by 40 students. He said auditors in the Kansas Department of Education will review the number for accuracy, and then the district's budget will have to be republished.

And he said he would rather have more students than was budgeted for, than less.

"I think it is better to build on a realistic number and, if there are more students, to republish, than to not be able to meet your budget," White said. "If we had budgeted for 1,295 students and only had 1,250, we'd have to take out that amount of money ($171,900) we budgeted."

White said the additional students are spread through the district's five schools. However, Baldwin High School has counted the biggest jump with an increase of 39 students. Baldwin Elementary School is up 20 students. Marion Springs Elementary School is up by seven students. Baldwin Junior High School is up by 14 students. Vinland Elementary School showed the only drop, with 13 less students.

"They graduated their biggest class. They sent a class of 30 to the junior high," White said, explaining the decrease at Vinland. "In comparison, this year's fifth-grade class has 13 students."

Although the district's enrollment has had a history of increasing one year and decreasing the next, White thinks enrollment will continue growing with the community. This marks the third consecutive year enrollment has increased.

"I still look around and I see a lot of houses that are newly constructed and are on the market for sale," White said. "We will be planning on some additional growth next year."

Now the district will have to decide how to spend the additional state funding. White said the $152,800 would likely go toward hiring a second nurse for the district, purchasing computers and replenishing the budget for classroom school supplies for teachers. The supply budget which could be an educational CD, writing materials, paper, etc. was cut from this year's budget.

"There are several areas," White said of where the state aid can be spent. "One, of course, are some nursing services we are already trying to fill. It's an area we are short in."

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