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Student Count

April 8, 2011
One of the key building blocks for our budget is the number of students we anticipate will be enrolled for the coming year.  The budget is built on what is called a “blended count”.  25% of the funding is based on the February student count from the previous year.  The remaining 75% is based on the September student count.  For Saline, our February count this year was 5,333 – so we know that 25% of our pupil funding next year will be based on that number.  The remaining amount will be based on the number of students enrolled this coming September.

Predicting enrollment for the coming year is based on a number of factors, but the one that has the largest impact is the size of the graduating class compared to the size of the incoming kindergarten class.  For example, in February 2010 we had 455 students in 12th grade and 375 in kindergarten.  Our total enrollment was 5,437 students.  Using those numbers and rolling them up a year – we were expecting a decrease of 90 students if we brought in the same 375 student kindergarten.  In September 2010 we had 5,335 students – 102 students less than the year before.  This year we have 408 students in 12th grade and 361 in kindergarten.  Rolling the numbers up one year we should expect a decrease of around 50 students in the fall.

As I noted above, there are numerous other factors that affect student count including the local economy, housing availability, schools of choice and county birth rates.

Another interesting point is to look at the September and February counts to see if we gain or lose students.  Traditionally we have counted 15-20 fewer students in the February  vs. the September counts.  This year we counted 5,335 in September and 5,333 in February.  While the student count was almost the exact same, there were 66 students who exited the district and 64 who enrolled between the two count dates.

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