Fewer students could cost district

It looks like fewer students are attending Coupeville schools this year.

An enrollment count shows the equivalent of 886 full-time students are in Coupeville’s classrooms. That amount is 24 fewer full-time equivalent students then the 910 students school officials had projected for the Central Whidbey-based school district.

“If that trend holds, it will mean decreased revenue,” Coupeville School District Superintendent Jim Shank said after Monday’s Coupeville School Board meeting. He said he hopes more students will enroll this week.

State funding is based on enrollment and the Coupeville School District receives approximately $5,200 per student.

If the enrollment numbers remain the same, the school district could see a reduction in state revenue of approximately $124,800. School officials during the summer break approved a $10.3 million budget for the 2013-2014 school year.

The enrollment count comes after teachers have been locked into their contracts for the school year.

As to what caused the enrollment decline, Shank discovered that, over the summer, 28 students had transferred to schools outside of Washington state.  He said he didn’t say yet how officials will react to the less-than-expected enrollment numbers.

The Coupeville School District has been dealing with declining enrollment in recent years. During the last school year, enrollment came in seven full-time-equivalent students less than projected.

“I would like to say we’re bottoming out, but I can’t,” Shank said during the meeting about the trend of declining enrollment.

For the 2011-2012 school year, Coupeville School District officials budgeted 881 FTE, but the average annual FTE was 955.76. For the 2012-2013 school year, the budgeted number was 923.5 FTE, but the actual number was 915.7 FTE.

Classes for most of the students started Sept. 3.

“I thought it was a great start,” Shank said noting the week was capped off by the Wolves victory in football Friday night against Bellevue Christian.


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