By HENRY JOHN STEGEMAN
Special to the Daily Press
Enrollment is down in the Hayden School District, but that should have little effect on the quality of education, district officials said.
"We are not going to cut any programs," Business Manager Jnl Linsacum said.
Oct. 1 is the day when final student enrollment numbers are tabulated for state funding purposes.
As of that date, the district's funded pupil count had dropped by approximately 15 students, or just under 3 percent. Specifically, the total enrollment dropped from 530 in 1998 to 514.5 in 1999. The half-students are children who only attend school for less than the full school day, such as part-time high school students or kindergarten students.
The school district receives about $5,700 per student from the state. Because of the decrease in enrollment, the district will receive about $12,.000 less than was projected this year.
The total amount of money that is granted to the district by the state for enrollment will actually rise. This year, the district will receive $911,851 in state equalization funds compared to the $899,150 in 1998.
Two factors combined to mitigate the lower enrollment.
First is a state Legislature-approved growth and inflation allowance. It increases the amount of money given to school districts when the community grows or expenses rise.
The second is a state policy that allows districts to average changes in enrollment over several years.
Hayden School District Superintendent Scott Mader said the effect of the policy is to smooth out enrollment fluctuations that can be quite severe in smaller districts.
School officials chose to spread that change over two years.
When the number of students Hayden had projected 527 is averaged with the actual figure of 514.5, the district will receive state equalization funds based on 521 students.