Ann Arbor Public Schools are facing both an overall decline in enrollment and some overcrowded classrooms. The school board last night got an update on preliminary information about the start of the school year. WEMU's Andrew Cluley has more.
Preliminary enrollment information shows Ann Arbor Public Schools are down 210 students this fall compared to last year. If the enrollment decline holds it could cost the district about $2 million dollars in state funding.
Superintendent Jeanice Swift says the district likely won't need to make major budget changes, but will have to continue to carefully monitor all expenditures. While the district has an overall decline in students, including a drop of more than 100 high school students, there are some overcrowded classrooms. Swift says some of this overcrowding is natural for the beginning of the school year but some is a result of teacher reductions to address budget issues.
School board president Deb Mexicotte agrees that crowded classrooms are both normal at the beginning of the year and a result of belt tightening. Mexicotte says one area where the district is doing better this year than last is in transportation. Mexicotte says it's difficult to make budget predictions now because there are many factors still up in the air, adding that they will have to maintain strong financial controls.
Preliminary enrollment shows 210 fewer students than budgeted and were in the district last school year. Superintendent Jeanice Swift says despite fewer students than expected the district shouldn't need to make major budget changes this year.
In addition to the overall decline, the district is facing some overcrowding. Swift says over the next several days they hope to work on leveling off class sizes where possible and if necessary adding some class options.