‘Count that counts’ shows drop in Avoyelles Parish School District enrollment
It’s called the “count that counts.”
The October enrollment count in public schools is used to determine the state Minimum Foundation Program allotment for the school year.
In Avoyelles Parish, each student on the enrollment count equals over $8,000 in state money to support the public school system. The MFP enrollment on Oct. 1 totaled 5,070, which is 46 fewer than in October 2017. That means about $370,000 less state funding for the local schools.
The enrollment number includes regular education students in grades K-12 and Special Education. Pre-K enrollment was about the same -- 235 compared to 239 last October -- but that program is federally funded and not considered in the MFP calculation.
The one-year comparison indicates the problem area for enrollment is in the middle grades.
In K-6, there are 2,724 regular and special ed students this October compared to 2,737 in last October’s count -- a drop of 13. In grades 7-8, there are 792 students compared to 848 last October -- a 56-student decline.
In grades 9-12 there are 1,506 students as of Oct. 1, a 22-student increase over the 1484 enrolled as of October 2017.
The 48 high school special ed students is only one more than in 2017.
ENROLLMENT BY SCHOOL
In the six elementary schools, enrollment was down slightly in four and up in two.
Plaucheville Elementary’s Oct. 1 enrollment of 572 showed the most gain, rising 15 from last October’s 557.
On the east side of the parish, Riverside Elementary -- still the parish’s smallest school by enrollment -- has 287 students, an increase of 13, compared to last year’s 274 count.
Bunkie Elementary declined by 17 students (328 to 311), Cottonport Elementary dropped five (387 to 382), Lafargue had four fewer students (669 to 665) and Marksville had 15 students less (522 to 507).
Two of the four high schools have higher enrollments than last year’s October count. Bunkie Magnet has 49 more students (595 compared to 546 in 2017). LaSAS, which is a charter school with a set maximum enrollment, had 12 more students this October (424 compared to 412).
Marksville High is still the parish’s largest public school with an Oct. 1 enrollment of 694. That is 76 students fewer than it had in October 2017. Avoyelles High’s enrollment of 633 is 18 fewer than its 651 students in October 2017.
In the overall high school enrollment, there are 12 more students in grades 9-12, 56 fewer in grades 7 and 8 and one more student in Special Ed than there was in October 2017.
The state will conduct another important enrollment count in February that is also used when the state appropriates MFP funds to the public school districts.