Wednesday was Student Count Day for schools in Michigan. Another Student Count Day will take place in February. What makes the fall Count Day so important is that 90 percent of state funding that a school receives is based on the attendance of students that day. Here is a summary of unofficial results of the number of students counted in schools in the tri-county area and how it will affect them.
Lake Fenton Community Schools
Lake Fenton saw an increase of 24 students from this time last year. Superintendent Wayne Wright said although the number is unofficial at this time, the school district counted 1,864 students. The district's official count last year was 1,840.3.
Including the $490 cut from $7,671 in per pupil state funding, the school district will receive $7,181 per student. This equals $14,298,744.
Wright said, "With the cuts in funding, it is critical to schools that the number of students in a district increases.
"Lake Fenton has had an increase in student population for at least the last seven years."
Linden Community Schools
Linden's enrollment numbers did not change from last year. According to Superintendent Ed Koledo, the unofficial count on Wednesday was 2,983. Last year's official count in the fall was 2,983.28.
Linden receives $6,846 in per-pupil funding from the state, or $20,421,618.
Koledo said, "While I would like to see our numbers grow, I am happy that it appears we did not lose students as we have for the last five years.
"Our budget assumption for this year was 2,949, based on Middle Cities predictions of that continued decline.
"Our student count has appeared to remain constant for two years now - that is a great sign we are moving in the right direction as a district."
Fenton Area Schools
The student population in the Fenton school district has increased by 70 students since September 2010. On Wednesday, 3,544 students were unofficially counted. Last year, the Fenton school district had 3,474 students.
As a school district of choice, 486 out of district students chose to attend Fenton schools. "If there were no schools of choice, we'd be done for," said Fenton Board of Education Vice President Nora Kryza. "This is good news."
Despite the increase in students, the Fenton school district is receiving less per pupil funding for the 2011-12 school year than last year. At $6,846 per pupil, Fenton is receiving $24,262,224 this school year. Last year, per pupil funding was $7,316 for a total of $25,415,784.
Superintendent Timothy Jalkanen said that according to enrollment forms filled out by parents, the IB Program is the leading reason for the increase in students. Athletics, fine arts programs and the Fenton schools' facilities were other reasons listed on the enrollment forms.
"We're pleased that parents are selecting our district to educate their children," Jalkanen said. "We hope that it continues."
Holly Area Schools
According to Superintendent Kent Barnes, the final count won't be known until the first part of November. The student count is much lower than anticipated/projected, he said.