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Tue, Oct. 22

PUSD enrollment continues to decline<BR>

PRESCOTT – Prescott Unified School District's enroll-ment continues its slow de-cline, with 40th day numbers about 1 percent less than a year ago.

The district's eight schools had a combined total of 4,682 K-12 students on Oct. 10, compared with 4,723 on the 40th day in 2000. That translates into a loss of roughly $190,000 in state tuition money unless the count increases before the 100th school day on Jan. 29, 2002.

However, Superintendent Kevin J. Kapp said Monday that charter school competition didn't take as big a share of students as some had predicted, particularly at the high school level.

"We are pleased that the enrollment in K-5 is actually above the enrollment that would have occurred, with a high number of fifth-graders moving into middle school and the lower number of kindergartners entering our system," Kapp said. "These numbers show that we actually picked up some kids."

Current enrollment, in round numbers, for each school is: Lincoln Elementary, 294 students, down four; Miller Valley Elementary, 388, down seven; Taylor Hicks Elementary, 434, down seven; Washington Traditional, 296, down 18; Abia Judd Elementary, 537, up 30; Mile High Middle, 607, down 3; Granite Mountain Middle, 572, down 11; and Prescott High School (PHS), 1,536, down 19.

Kapp said the relatively small decrease at the high school, which competes with nearly a dozen others, "seems to indicate that families are choosing PHS due to our wide range of programs and extracurricular activities, as well as our strong academic standards."

For state bookkeeping reasons, the grand total does not include 95 students whom outlying districts send, on a tuition basis, to Prescott schools. District records show that's five less than last year.

According to Kapp, the 40th day count is the first benchmark districts use when determining enrollment, but the 100th day enrollment sets state financing levels for the next year.

"These numbers can change, and it's still our hope to see our enrollment increase before then," he said.

Business Director Renee Raskin said the district stands to get about $4,300 in state maintenance and operation and capital budget revenue per pupil enrolled on the 100th day.

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