Districts see changes in enrollment numbers as transfer numbers fluctuate

"As a district, we’re probably down roughly 40-60 kids that we just haven’t gotten back, either...
"As a district, we’re probably down roughly 40-60 kids that we just haven’t gotten back, either they are remote or homeschooled."(WLUC photo)
Published: Dec. 8, 2021 at 10:39 PM CST
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - The push to keep kids in the classroom can mean a financial boost for any school. That’s why many districts are campaigning to increase enrollment numbers.

Districts all across Texoma have been campaigning through the summer and some even have a waiting list. While they have seen a boost in students transferring in, districts such as City View ISD and Vernon ISD still struggle with issues caused by the pandemic.

“So August of 2021, we started school with about 1,125 students so we did see a good increase but it’s really only about a 50 student increase from where we were in march of 2020 before COVID, " said Tony Bushong, superintendent of City View ISD.

While it’s hard to keep track of where each transfer student is coming from, Bushong said their district has 200 transfer students, 50 who came in after the closing Notre Dame High School last semester and the rest he believes have come from other districts, including Burkburnett ISD, Iowa Park CISD and Wichita Falls ISD.

“We might have about a hundred but I know they’ve got some of our kids too because we’ve got kids that transfer to WFISD that live in our district as well. It happens all across the state,” said Bushong.

The Vernon ISD superintendent said he believes he may have a handful of students who have moved from Wichita Falls to Vernon, but that hasn’t helped his numbers that fell from almost 2,000 students to 1,800.

“As a district, we’re probably down anywhere roughly from 40-60 kids that we just haven’t gotten back. They’re either remote or homeschooled, those families felt more comfortable keeping their children at home than sending them to schools,” Jeff Byrd, superintendent of Vernon ISD.

And if you ask parents what the deciding factors are in where they choose to send their kids...

“The class sizes are smaller and the discipline is a little bit better,” said Jerry Cerny, parent.

Another parent said it’s about having an easier commute in the morning.

“I work an hour away so I think it’s very convenient that she can take him to work and bring him back whenever they’re out of school,” said Aaron Merritt, parent.

Bushong said fluctuating enrollment numbers also impact how much funding a district can receive and one student can cost the district over $10,000 in annual funding.

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