Avoyelles public schools' enrollment drops by 90 in spring count

Enrollment in the Avoyelles Parish School District’s 10 schools has dropped by 90 students since October and 67 fewer than in February 2018.

The state conducted a spring enrollment audit on Feb. 1 -- the second official enrollment count of the school year used to determine the school system’s state funding in the next budget cycle.

The district’s enrollment was 4,980 students in the tally. The “count that counts” on Oct. 1 was 5,070. The Feb. 1, 2018 enrollment total was 5,047.

The Oct. 1 enrollment for this school year was 46 less than the October 2017 enrollment of 5,116.

With the parish receiving approximately $8,000 per student from the state, the enrollment decline from October to February would represent a potential loss of $720,000 from what was expected based on the October tally.

The enrollment number includes regular education students in grades K-12 and Special Education students.

Pre-K enrollment also declined from October, from 235 to 214. It was 25 fewer than in February 2018 when there were 239 pre-schoolers in the district’s six elementary schools. The pre-K program is federally funded and is not considered in the state Minimum Foundation Program allocation to the parish.

The one-year comparison of the February enrollments shows the problem area is in the middle grades, where there was a decline of 80 students in 7th and 8th grades. The junior high enrollment declined by 17 since October, from 792 to 775. There were 855 in February 2018, representing the 80-student year-to-year decline. There were 848 in the two grades in October 2017.

Elementary enrollment is fairly stable. There were 2,721 pupils in grades K-6 in the Feb. 1 count. That compares to 2,724 in October, 2,732 in February 2018 and 2,737 in October 2017.

The spring enrollment count recorded 1,484 students in high school -- that is 24 fewer than last February. The Oct. 1 count reported 1,554 students in grades 9-12 and in high school special education.

SCHOOL ENROLLMENT

Since October, Plaucheville and Riverside elementary schools dropped less than 10 students. Bunkie, Lafargue and Marksville elementaries were within one or two of the October numbers while Cottonport Elementary had nine more students than it did in the fall.

All four high schools lost students since October.

Avoyelles High lost 20, from 633 to 613. Bunkie Magnet declined from 595 to 561. Marksville High dropped from 694 to 671. LaSAS, which is a charter school with a set maximum enrollment, fell from 424 to 414 so far this school year.

However, on a February-to-February comparison, Bunkie Magnet has increased its enrollment by 23 and LaSAS is up by six while Avoyelles dropped by 18 and Marksville lost 67.

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