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LHUSD Enrollment continues to decline

It’s no surprise to Lake Havasu Unified School District officials they continue to show declining student enrollment.

At the 100-day mark of this school year, which occurred on Tuesday, the district had 53 fewer students than what it had on the same day last year. At 100 days during the 2015-16 school year, 48 students left the district.

Administrators say families move over winter break and some students graduate from high school at the end of the first-semester – possible explanations for the decline. Additionally, students with discipline issues may transfer to private or homeschool programs.

“By looking at trends based on the 100th day, we can compare year-to-year how we are doing,” said district Superintendent Diana Asseier. “The trend helps us estimate what our decline is going to be the following year.”

School districts used to look at enrollment at the 100th day as a critical date to determine state and local funding, but this changed in the 2016-17 school year when the Arizona Legislature moved to a current-year funding model that is based on a formula called “average daily membership.” The formula is a count of students taken at several times during the school year – including the 100th day – to satisfy local, state and federal data collection needs and to ensure that school districts are adequately funded, according to student population.

In the past, schools received funding based on the previous year’s enrollment, which allowed them to budget for fluctuations ahead of time. When legislators changed the law, they started paying schools on the month-to-month formula.

As a result, school districts with declining enrollment such as Lake Havasu now make mid-year budget revisions.



by David Louis - Today's News-Herald
Jan 24, 2018

Used with permission

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