logo



How do local school populations add up?

Krystle Wagner • Oct 5, 2017 at 8:00 AM

Student attendance had a special importance for Michigan’s publicly funded schools on Wednesday.

About 90 percent of per-pupil funding is represented in the fall Count Day. The funding is used for operational costs such as salaries, programs, services and supplies.

In February, schools will hold a second Count Day, which accounts for 10 percent of per-pupil funding.

Here’s a look at what Count Day means for local schools:

Fruitport Community Schools

Preliminary fall count: 2,679

Change from last year’s count: Flat, but 40 students more than projected

Funding per pupil: $7,631

How does the preliminary fall enrollment impact the district’s budget? “At this point, it is too early to determine how the budget will be adjusted given the positive enrollment we have experienced, but it is good to land in positive enrollment territory two years in a row after many years of enrollment decline,” Superintendent Bob Szymoniak said.

Grand Haven Area Public Schools

Preliminary fall count: 6,210

Change from last year: up 75 students from spring 2017

Funding per pupil: $7,708

How does the preliminary fall enrollment impact the district’s budget? “We are on the positive side of what we had budgeted,” Director of Business Services Lisa Danicek said.

Spring Lake Public Schools

Preliminary fall count: 2,490.56

Change from last year: down 15 students from fall 2016

Funding per pupil: $7,631

How does the preliminary fall enrollment impact the district’s budget? “Our projected 2017-18 budget was based on just one more student being enrolled this fall,” Superintendent Dennis Furton said. “With numerous moving parts and practically the entire year ahead of us, the shortfall of one student will have no impact on programming, staffing or services.”

Walden Green Montessori School

Preliminary fall count: 227

Change from last year: up 44 students from fall 2016

Funding per pupil: $7,631

How does the preliminary fall enrollment impact the school’s budget? “These additional dollars affords us the ability to start a full day, Young 5’s Montessori program for our families and families in the greater community, giving these students a leg-up on their education for years to come,” Principal Mark Neidlinger said.

West Michigan Academy of Arts and Academics

Preliminary fall count: 452

Change from last year: down 39 students from fall 2016

Funding per pupil: $7,631

How does the preliminary fall enrollment impact the school’s budget? “The decrease in enrollment appears to be an aberration and, at this point, without fully understanding the reasons, we do not want to speculate,” Assistant Director Tighe Carter said. “There will be an impact on budget, but our board has been able to plan for situations like these so that our programming and instruction is not impacted in any way.”

Recommended for You