Fayette schools’ enrollment down to 2002 level
Fayette County public schools saw a small overall decrease in the number of students who began the 2014-2015 school year in early August. With a net decrease of 120 students, elementary and middle schools lost students while the county’s high schools saw an increase in enrollment.
Enrollment numbers from the end of the 2013-2014 school year in May showed Fayette’s public schools with 20,243 students. Figures complied by the school system effective Aug. 22 showed 20,123 students, a decrease of 120 students.
Fayette’s elementary schools for the new school year in August saw nearly 90 fewer students while middle schools saw a decrease of more than 100 students.
Fayette’s high schools showed an increase in the number of students, with nearly 80 additional students compared to the year-end numbers in May.
It should be noted that enrollment numbers customarily increase during the first two months of a new school year.
The multi-year trend of decreasing enrollment has slowed but has yet to turn the corner toward recovering from the falling numbers that accompanied the Great Recession.
Fayette’s historic high in terms of enrollment came in the 2006-2007 school year with an enrollment totaling 22,367.
This year’s initial figures look more like the numbers from the 2001-2002 school year when Fayette had 20,337 students enrolled.
Beyond the number of students which is indicative of the number of staff needed, a school system’s enrollment is tied to the amount state dollars received and hence, a school system’s budget.
Each student in the system brings in approximately $4,000 in state revenue. Thus, each 250 students generates approximately $1 million in state funds.
The loss of more than 2,000 students since 2006-2007 equates to the loss of more than $8 million in state funds.