Each year at the beginning of October, every district in the State is required to electronically submit enrollment information to the Department of Education through a process referred to as Project EASIER. A thorough review by all districts is completed and calculations are finalized to determine the number of resident students in each district. In addition, each district must share information as to students who are open enrolled into and out of each district as well as students that are involved in shared programming. An example of shared programming would be the Agriculture/FFA program with ADM and the Madison County Career Academy. This number is important as it is the first important factor in determining funding for the district for the 2012-13 school year.
Unfortunately, the enrollment for the district used to determine funding is down by 30 students. Although I knew that the district had more students graduate in May of 2011 than anticipated Kindergarten students this fall, I was not expecting the reduction in students to be this large. The projections from the Department of Education indicated stable enrollment for the next few years and then limited growth in the future.
The one area in which the district is experiencing an increase in student enrollment is that of students who are open enrolling into the district. In October of 2010, the district had 60 students from other districts who have chosen to attend school in Earlham. In October of 2011, this number increased to 71 students.
The decrease in the number of students will have a slight effect on the district's funding in the 2012-13 school year. For the first time, the district will qualify for the budget guarantee. The budget guarantee assures that the district will have 101% of the current year funding level for 2012-13.