December 2, 2020


education gives you strength

Funding a worry as Madison School District enrollment drops by more than 1,000 students | Local Education

2 min read
iStock photo Elizabeth Beyer | Wisconsin State Journal Enrollment in the Madison School District has...

School book and apple, generic file photo

Enrollment in the Madison School District has declined by more than 1,000 students for the 2020-2021 school year, the district said Friday.

The decrease in enrollment is significant compared with the previous school year, when the district lost only 33 students between 2018-2019 and 2019-2020.

The drop in enrollment could spell trouble for district funding. A portion of state school aid is doled out to districts per student, and a district’s enrollment affects how much money it receives in state equalization aid.

Elementary and 4K grade levels accounted for 90% of the 2020-2021 school year decrease, according to a memo released by the district. Kindergarten and 4K enrollment accounted for a loss of 500 students, and there were “noticeable” decreases in the 5th and 9th grades, the memo said.

A student count on the third Friday of September showed 3.7% of students had left the district. Of those who left Madison, 56% moved to another Wisconsin school district. Separately, 7% used the open enrollment process to transfer to a different Wisconsin district and 10% transferred to a private school or home-school setting, while 15% transferred out of state, according to the memo.

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The district had planned for a 3% drop in enrollment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, after administering a survey to student families in July. Respondents to the survey who said they planned to leave the district indicated they would enroll students in home schooling, transfer to a virtual school, transfer to another district or transfer to a private school.

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