District numbers are up
The Baldwin School District is growing and Supt. Paul Dorathy is glad to hear that it might be receiving more money.
On Sept. 20, the final tallies for enrollment came in. The report said the district has 1,415 students.
"These are preliminary numbers as of Sept. 20," Dorathy said. "Nothing will be definite until the state auditor comes in and checks us."
The important number financially is the full-time enrollment (FTE), which only counts half-time students as 0.5 and a full-time student as one. The FTE total is 1,354.5, which is up from 1,320 last year.
"It could make a significant amount of difference in money," he said. " It's a really positive thing, but I am cautious until the state auditor comes here. I am guessing we are going to be up from what we estimated. It's very positive news."
When the district published its budget in late August, it gave the FTE number as 1,330. Since the district's per pupil base aid for students is $4,316, it could mean approximately $105,000 for the district, according to Dorathy.
"It could help us significantly budget wise," Dorathy said. "I am cautious on that until the auditor comes in here and says that's the number of kids you really have. There is no sense in getting too excited, but it is a positive thing that numbers are up significantly."
He also said the school board would have to republish the budget to receive those extra dollars, if the numbers are correct.
"If that is correct, we can republish our budget and get more state aid," Dorathy said. "It wouldn't cost any more taxes locally, but it would get us more state aid from Topeka. It would come out of general taxes, but wouldn't cause any local taxes to rise."
Although it all sounds great, Dorathy is still being cautious until he receives the final numbers from the auditor. Since the district has an increase in enrollment, he will try to bring the auditor in quickly.
"Since our enrollment is up like that, I will call and ask them to do an early audit for us," Dorathy said. "If you're losing enrollment, you don't normally do that and you wait your turn. Hopefully, we will get an auditor in here by November or December."
The total enrollments for each building are: Baldwin High School (434), Baldwin Junior High School (330), Baldwin Elementary School Intermediate Center (227), Baldwin Elementary School Primary Center (221), Vinland Elementary School (82) and Marion Springs Elementary School (121). The MSES enrollment does include the 47 students from the 4-year-old program.
"I know when I talked to my principals, they felt like most of the buildings were up," Dorathy said.
MSES Principal Gus Wegner said his school has increased its enrollment from last year.
"We have a few more students than last year," Wegner said. "We are up about eight to 10 students. We have increased our numbers and we feel good about it."