Fayette student numbers level out

The large drop in student enrollment seen last year in the Fayette County School System may be leveling out. While enrollment numbers for the beginning of the second week of school showed 185 fewer students than in May, that loss represents a far better number than the 700 students lost a year ago.

The school system near the end of the first week of school reported 19,988 students. But an attendance count from the second week showed 20,252 students, according to information provided by Fayette schools.

Student enrollment in the ninth month of the 2011-2012 school year totaled 20,437, according to reports. That translates into 185 fewer students in the second week of school this year compared to enrollment numbers from the ninth month of school last year.

While a decrease in student enrollment is what everyone wanted to avoid, the initial numbers are far less unsettling than this time last year. Fayette schools between the 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 school years lost approximately 700 students and have lost hundreds more in the past few years.

Commenting on the change in enrollment numbers, school system spokesperson Melinda Berry-Dreisbach said, “Enrollment is very fluid up through Labor Day. From day to day students leave for a number of reasons: They have moved outside our county and are no longer eligible to attend our schools, families move after the first few days of school and parents withdraw their students to pursue other school options such as home school or private school.”

Despite the down numbers, there is an expectation that enrollment will climb somewhat in the coming weeks. Berry-Dreisbach said enrollment numbers from last year showed an increase of 136 students during the second week of school and an additional 13 students after Labor Day.

“Hopefully as the weeks progress and we get beyond Labor Day, more students will move into the area and increase our enrollment,” Berry-Dreisbach said.

Aside from the number of students receiving an education, enrollment also translates into much needed revenue since each student brings in approximately $4,000 in state revenue.

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