Archive for Wednesday, September 17, 2003

Enrollment gains beneficial to local school district

26 more students translates into $86,000 more in state aid

September 17, 2003

Once again, Tonganoxie's enrollment is officially up.

This is good news for the school district's budget.

Kansas school districts receive state aid based on the number of students enrolled as of Sept. 20.

Although a final count will be taken on Friday, Tonganoxie school superintendent Richard Erickson said the district's most recent count, taken last Friday, showed a full-time equivalency increase of 26.4 students from last year. As of Friday, the district had an FTE of 1,502.5 students.

A year ago, the district's enrollment count increased by a FTE of 48. Two years ago the district's FTE increase totaled 26.

The enrollment increases bring additional funds into the school district at a time when the state's per-pupil increases have stalled. Erickson noted the state pays a base rate of $3,863 per pupil. When additional factors are considered, such as low-enrollment weighting, transportation and vocational training, the per-pupil base rate increases. Erickson estimated that state funding for the additional 26 students will bring an additional $86,200 into the district.

"That's very important to us at a time when we've been frozen with the state at our per-pupil appropriation," Erickson said. "The last three years have been very important in enrollment growth, and very important to our budget in that the board of education and local patrons have been willing to raise the LOB."

The LOB, or local option budget, is a locally generated tax that must be voted on by the school board each year.

During the 2001-2002 school year, the local option budget added $1.5 million to district funds. During the 2002-2003 school year it contributed $1.6 million. This year, Erickson projected, funds from the LOB will generate $1.8 million.

The school district's total budget this year, which combines all state, federal and local revenues and projected expenditures, is estimated at $11.1 million Erickson said.

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