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Monday, May 2, 2016

Area schools report lower enrollment, meaning some loss in state funding

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The numbers emerging from last week's state-mandated headcount show that enrollment at Putnam County schools is down about 131 students. This will cost the four school districts more than half a million dollars.

With the largest loss this year, Cloverdale School Corporation shed about 77 students -- more than 5 percent of its enrollment from last year, according to figures from Cloverdale High School Principal Sunny Stoltz.

If the state gives Cloverdale at $4,200 per student, the district will lose about $325,000, according to figures from the Indiana Department of Education.

North Putnam found a significant drop in enrollment, as well -- 69 pupils, said Assistant Superintendent Kevin Emsweller. At $3,000 per student, this will cost the school corporation about $210,000.

Greencastle Community Schools was the only Putnam County district to gain students. Enrollment at all grade levels jumped a combined 28 students to 1,962 total, said Secretary Renee Miller. The district stands to gain about $75,000 in state funding.

South Putnam saw the smallest change, losing 10 students at a cost of about $35,000, according to estimates from Superintendent Bruce Bernhardt.

Officials collected the enrollment numbers by counting the students in each class Sept. 14. Kindergarteners are counted as half a student. The state then uses those calculations to figure out how much money to give each school district, Bernhardt said.

At Greencastle and South Putnam all saw even changes in enrollment across each of the districts' schools. This can be problematic when the incoming money falls because it doesn't allow the districts to cut teachers to keep pace with the size of the student bodies, Bernhardt said.

Since overall, North Putnam's class sizes will remain the same despite larger drops in the elementary and high schools, the school corporation likely won't look to slash faculty members, Emsweller said.

Cloverdale, on the other hand, saw now significant change in the size of the high school student body, though the elementary and middle schools saw 37 and 42, respectively, students leave.

Administrators have yet to fully think out the implications and causes of these enrollment and funding changes. North Putnam is even reexamining its count to make sure that it was correct, Emsweller said.

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