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Student count up 35 in SL, 1 in GH

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:09 AM

“We knew we were going to see a cut early in the spring,” SLPS Superintendent Dennis Furton said. “We planned our budget and strategy for dealing with financial shortfalls. We’ve dealt with it very effectively.”

The district sliced $1.9 million from its budget last spring.

Recent cost-saving measures include privatizing the custodial staff, cuts to programs and staff contract negotiations.

“Thankfully, subsequent to settling the contract with teachers and support staff, and seeing enrollment up, we’ve been able to restore some of the (layoff) positions,” Furton said. “We’ve restored all but two of 12.4 layoffs.”

The count at Grand Haven Area Public Schools was just one more student than last year, an increase from 5,985 to 5,986, according to Superintendent Keith Konarska.

Changes to this year’s Student Count Day were announced a couple of weeks ago. This year’s state aid formula will give the fall count a 90-percent weight in figuring what local districts receive, rather than 75 percent in previous years. The winter count in February will be worth 10 percent instead of 25 percent.

“Because we’re holding steady with our enrollment numbers, it will have little impact from a plus-or-minus point of view,” Konarska said.

The fall Student Count Day was also moved from the fourth Wednesday of September to the first Wednesday in October to align with a count done for special education students. Konarska explained that the move did not impact enrollment numbers for the Grand Haven district. He explained that district officials anticipated a slight drop in enrollment numbers, therefore budgeted accordingly, and that state aid will now provide a slight revenue increase for the district.

Fruitport Community Schools experienced a loss of nine students during Wednesday’s official count. The district tallied 2,974 pupils, down from 2,983 in the 2010-11 count.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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