Student enrollment numbers didn’t improve much for the Morenci school district since the start of the school year, leaving the district with 37 students fewer than estimated in the 2009-10 budget.
Early in the school year, enrollment showed a decrease of 58 students, including a drop of 20 students figured in the budget. When the official count day arrived Sept. 30, the situation improved only by one student.
Any students missing school on the count day with an unexcused absence must return within 10 days in order to be added to the official count for state aid purposes. Anyone with an excused absence must return within 30 days.
Absences could make a small difference, said superintendent Kyle Griffith, but the district is likely to face a cash shortfall of well over $200,000.
State aid is an entirely separate issue, he said.
“We budgeted on a $110 [per pupil] loss, which should help us, but we still have to wait to see what the state does,” he said.
Some legislators are calling for a cut of double that amount. State government is now working during a 30-day temporary budget period until a final, long overdue budget is approved.
Griffith said Morenci administrators met last week to discuss options for reducing school spending to deal with the cash shortfall. Twenty-one layoff notices were issued last month in preparation for making changes prior to the second trimester starting in late November.
Griffith noted that total enrollment of 786 includes two special education students from other districts who attend class here. Their state aid will return to their home districts.
Morenci sends 10 students to special classes in Addison and their state funding stays with Morenci. The total of students here is 786, but the total figuring into Morenci’s state support is 794.
Morenci’s graduating class in 2007 included 49 seniors—the smallest Morenci class since the mid-1950s. This year’s junior class has only 43 students and the fifth grade class stands at 47. The fourth grade class is the largest with 73 students.
E.S. - 327
M.S. - 227
H.S. - 223
DK - 15
K - 55
1 - 53
2 - 62
3 - 69
4 - 73
5 - 47
6 - 63
7 - 63
8 - 54
9 - 67
10 - 54
11 - 43
12 - 59
Alt - 9
TOTAL - 786