Archive for Thursday, September 23, 2004

Enrollment increases in Basehor-Linwood

September 23, 2004

A headcount of students Monday indicated that enrollment has risen for the fifth straight year in the Basehor-Linwood School District.

On Sept. 20, school districts across the state were required to conduct an official count, which will be submitted to the Kansas Department of Education next month for determining funding allocations for the school year. The total enrollment for the school district is 2,109 students, an increase of seven students from last year.

By monitoring area growth, the school district was able to budget for a mild increase in enrollment and shouldn't be adversely effected by the enrollment numbers and the allocations those numbers provide, superintendent Jill Hackett said.

But, there is some cause for concern. Although the increased numbers place the school district in a fortunate position of having a growing student population and more funding this year than the previous year, the state's current model for funding does not take into account student growth post Sept. 20.

"Funding for the year is based on these numbers," Hackett said. "Does that make me a little nervous? Yeah, a little bit."

According to school district research, approximately 2,930 homes within the school district have been approved for construction and another 950 homes are planned but awaiting approval through various planning stages.

Using an average of .44 students per home, the school district is staring down a possible enrollment increase of 1,707 students.

While those homes won't be built all at once, Hackett said some homes are likely to be completed and filled by new families this year.

Money allocated to the school district will remain the same, roughly $3,863 per student listed on the Sept.20 headcount, despite any enrollment increases throughout the year.

"After the 20th, (new students) will join us without funding from the state. Funding stays in the school they came from."

School officials are busy planning for when the possible enrollment expansion occurs. They will resume discussions during a work session at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 11.

"We're OK, right now," Hackett said. "I'm not overly nervous because we're being proactive. We'll talk about long-term planning this year and have a plan in place for when we see the big surge.

"My guess is we're going to be brimming with students before we open any new facilities."

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