The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

September 16, 2013

Madison County schools expecting fairly steady enrollments

ANDERSON — It’s counting time for Indiana schools again, and districts like Anderson Community Schools are expecting enrollment figures to remain steady.

The enrollment count officially began Friday, the first day schools could submit those figures to the Indiana Department of Education, and will end in early October with the deadline for reports to be submitted.

The count is important as a school district’s state funding is determined by the total number of students enrolled.

“It really makes a difference, the number of students you have,” Greg Kalisz, director of student services at ACS, said.

If ACS were to drop 100 students, for example, that’s about $650,000 the district would lose, because it receives around $6,500 per student.

In the same respect, if students are gained, so is funding. It’s all based on an ADM (Average Daily Membership) formula that varies year to year.

While ACS was still calculating its numbers Monday, the district isn’t expecting anything close to the drops experienced in 2010 and 2011, when it lost about 2,000 students.

Actually, Kalisz said, ACS isn’t even expecting a decrease like last year’s, when there were about 100 students lost to other school districts and private schools with Indiana’s school choice.

“It looks like we’ll really be stable,” he said.

Part of the counting process, Kalisz added, is the review of conflict reports, to ensure two school districts aren’t claiming the same students.

This has happened with special education students — who may actually be enrolled in Alexandria Community Schools, but coming to ACS for services — and in other situations.

With Warner Bodies soon bringing about 150 new jobs, there are hopes in Elwood that more families will move to the area.

For now, though, the district is down by about 20 students.

“Enrollment is down a little bit, but we continue to add students,” Superintendent Tim Smith said.

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