Willard enrollment down from last October

Aaron Krause • Oct 22, 2012 at 1:09 PM

As of Oct. 1, Willard City Schools' enrollment was 1,781 -- down 11 children from October of last year, district treasurer Cynthia Shoup told the board of education recently.

Shoup, who reported the numbers as part of her five-year forecast, said kindergarten enrollment stands at 133. That is a slight increase of about eight students from the count last October.

"In the past three years, we have lost a total of 232 students," Shoup said. "Hopefully, our declining enrollment will begin to stabilize soon."

But if enrollment continues to decline, the district may be forced to make additional cuts, Shoup said. She noted the Ohio Department of Education calculates state foundation payments based on enrollment, classroom teachers and other factors.

"Since 2009, our state funding has dramatically decreased in part due to loss of enrollment, but also from the loss of federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009," Shoup said.

The treasurer said other revenue remains constant from incoming tuition payments, class fees, interest, donations and open enrollment income.

"We continue to receive approximately $12,000 per year in revenue due to the sports participation fee approved by the Board of Education and this remains constant for this forecast," Shoup said.

She also noted that Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach adjusted valuations, and this forecast shows a slight decrease in taxes due to that decrease.

"Delinquencies and foreclosures continue throughout the state and have hit our district very hard," Shoup said.

Beginning in fiscal year 2011, a reduction in force saved the district more than $412,162 in wages and $86,307 in benefits. The board approved another reduction in force beginning in August, with the savings in salaries of $704,824 and $247,240 in benefits. Also, the district hired a new psychologist, replacing services from the North Point Educational Service Center. This saved the district about $30,000, Shoup said.

The board voted unanimously to approve the five-year forecast.

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