LAS VEGAS (AP) — Enrollment in the Clark County School District, which includes Las Vegas, has declined by more than 10,000 students during the start of the fall semester online.
Data show there are 307,210 students enrolled for this 2020 academic year compared to 317,893 students enrolled for the 2019 academic year, showing a drop of more than 10,600 students.
The figures show the third straight decline in enrollment since the district reached more than 321,000 students in 2017.
District officials had anticipated about 316,000 students this year, and depending on enrollment at each school, budget cuts are now expected. Each student brings in $6,100 in funding to the district, officials said.
“There’s funding tied to that count number. How it impacts my child in the classroom? Frequently it means larger class sizes,” Nevada Parent Teacher Association President Rebecca Dirks Garcia told KVVU-TV. “You may see changes in your classroom, and also changes with your teacher.”
Some parents have raised concerns that schools would be left severely underfunded and understaffed if families chose not to return because the district switched to distance learning, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
Clark County Education Association President Marie Neisess said carryover funding of $140 million will help some schools keep the same staffing levels.
“My concern is always the funding. How will that impact us, if the students come back into the building? If they come back, we no longer have that funding,” she said.
Studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick. For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.