MCS Enrollment Dips, But Less Than District Planned For

Aug 29, 2018

Muncie Community Schools is losing students this year.  But, according to officials, the unofficial number is small, and less than the district planned for.  IPR’s Zoe Dwiggins reports.

Official enrollment counts are done in September across the state.  It’s that number that determines how much state money each district will get.  Unofficially though, Muncie Community Schools says it has lost 63 students this school year.

That’s much less than the district lost in previous years, as it consolidated two high schools into one and made headlines for being a “distressed district.”

“The district lost 438 students last year,” says MCS Emergency Manager Steve Edwards.

Edwards says losing more students is a surprise, but the district did plan for such a loss.  It was prepared for a drop of 200 students this year.

“If I cross my fingers.  If that – and we have every reason to believe that’s accurate – that will be a major, major success for this district.”

Board president Jim Williams says these numbers also come as good news while the district is trying to get rid of a much-publicized deficit.

“Now clearly from the budget standpoint, when you budget for a loss of 200, you want to be under a 200 loss.  Now would we love to be 200 up?  Sure.  Would we love to be 300 up?  Sure.  But the fact that we’re flat with February – that’s a win for today and should be counted as such.  And we’re going to grow from here.”

The district will discuss its 2019 budget in a public hearing on September 11.  The Indiana Department of Education says the state’s official enrollment count date is September 14.