CALHOUN SCHOOL ENROLLMENT DECLINE CONTINUES - State Funding Formula Drops Near $4 Million

(09/09/2017)

By Bob Weaver

Calhoun Schools enrollment for all three schools for the 2016-17 year is estimated at 1,028 students, according to Superintendent Kelli Whytsell.

In 1991-92 the enrollment was 1,700 students.

Calhoun schools has lost about $4 million annually from the state's school funding formula since the early 1990s, the enrollment drop a primary contributor to a declared deficit of $1.8 million.

That deficit no longer appears to be a major problem to state officials, with many counties now having deficits. When the deficit was made an issue, Calhoun was the only school system with a deficit.

Enrollment took a serious plunge during the 2012-13 year, dropping 54 students, preceded by a couple years of slight increases, mostly due to early childhood education enrollment.

Sparsely populated rural systems, particularly those without educational operating levies, continue to suffer with enrollment loss, the state's long-time school funding formula issues about $5,000 per pupil annually.

Calhoun Schools has lost about 782 students since the early 1990s.

That would mean the county system has lost well over $3 million annually.

The biggest single loss for Calhoun Schools was in 2000-01 with -112.

"We are a county under 1400 students, but the funding to assist us is not equitable based upon the current formula," said former Superintendent Tim Woodward.

Woodward said he spoke to legislators during the interim sessions, trying the get the system funded under the "1,400 rule," which would ease the deficit.

"The children of Calhoun deserve the constitutional definition of a fundamental education, and currently that is not happening," Woodward said.

Calhoun School Enrollment: Loss/Gain:

1991-1992 1700 +15

1992-1993 1689 -11

1993-1994 1705 +16

1994-1995 1671 -34

1995-1996 1633 -38

1996-1997 1589 -44

1997-1998 1558 -31

1998-1999 1476 -82

1999-2000 1430 -46

2000-2001 1318 -112

2001-2002 1289 -29

2002-2003 1283 -6

2003-2004 1216 -67

2004-2005 1187 -29

2005-2006 1180 -7

2006-2007 1153 -27

2007-2008 1151 -2

2008-2009 1126 -25

2009-2010 1104 -22

2010-2011 1122 +18

2011-2012 1137 +15

2012-2013 1083 -54

2013-2014 1069 -14

2014-2015 1066 -3

2015-2016 1055 -11

2016-2017 1051 -4

2017-2018 1028 -23


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