Districts report school enrollment is up
After years of declining enrollment, local school districts are seeing a change in pace as Barstow’s numbers remain unchanged and Silver Valley sees an increase from last year.
After five years of declining enrollment, Barstow Unified School District officials hope the tide is turning as this year’s numbers remain about the same as last year this time. The district has 5,936 students enrolled this school year, with 1,418 at Barstow High School alone.
This is good news, as it means more students in their classes and more funding from the state, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services Teresa Healy said.
“No. 1: You want to have students — that’s our core business,” Healy said. “You want to have customers ... that’s also how you create your dollars. (Daily attendance) is how you get paid.”
Healy said the leveling off could show the local economy is stabilizing. As jobs left the area, parents followed, taking their students with them, she said.
Silver Valley Unified School District showed a welcome increase in students this school year after three years of dramatic decline, said Jill Kemock, assistant superintendent of business services.
This school year, Silver Valley enrolled 2,345 students, with 459 of those at Silver Valley High School.
School funding is based mostly on daily attendance of students. As more students are in class, the school receives more funding. Kemock said it costs about the same to provide a class for 12 students as it does for 20 students, though the district receives much less for the 12. This is a problem especially true for smaller districts, where many classes have to be provided regardless of how few are enrolled.
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