NPPS enrollment numbers down, educators bracing for lower funding
NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - October is the month when schools in many states hold their official “count days." That’s when they tally the number of students in every school and that number determines the amount of money school district’s will receive.
North Platte Public Schools Operations and Finance Director Stuart Simpson said enrollment numbers have declined once again. However, it’s a trend not only impacting schools across the state, but also across the country.
Currently there are about 5% less students enrolled at NPPS. Figuratively, that’s 182 less students from last year’s 3,884 total.
Simpson said it’s unclear if the pandemic is a reason for the decrease, but said the consequences could impact schools budgets if the trend continues.
“We’re up for a new chair of the revenue committee, so in that we are going to be watching to see how they structure the state aid formula for school districts because we can project out where our state aid will be, which will be down, but are they going to tweak it differently because less state revenue? Are they going to give school district’s the same? Or are they going to be modifying it according to whatever revenue sources we are getting in at the state level and that’s the big thing," Simpson said. "We’re right now looking at projections, but we know we still have a couple of months to play out until everything is put together as far as where our state aid will be for next year.”
Simpson said if the trends continues, it could put North Platte in Class B for athletics and activities next school year.
The standard to be considered a Class A school is 300 students per grade. North Platte averages between 250 and 260 students per grade.
“We know we are going to be dropping in the number of students in our classes over the course of a few years,” Simpson said. “I’m not going to say next year, but we can see at our K-5 level that we’re not a 300 student class, but roughly a 250-260 class. So that just means in four or five years we are going to be dropping down in our numbers at the high school, which then means we will be moving into Class B, but I know that Jordan Cudney, our AD, wants to move that along because we want to be competitive.”
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