- Associated Press - Sunday, October 11, 2015

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - School enrollment appears to have declined in parts of northern Michigan’s Grand Traverse County area, according to preliminary attendance figures.

The Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District is down about 1.7 percent compared to last year, The Traverse City Record-Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1Po54bR ) Sunday.

Enrollment also decreased by just over 1 percent in the Traverse City Area Public Schools.

Fewer students squeeze district finances, said Jason Jeffrey, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District assistant superintendent for general and career and technical education. Public school districts in Michigan receive state funding for each student enrolled.

“Obviously the majority of the districts, the belts have already been tightened a tremendous amount,” Jeffrey said. “If the district is a base-funded district, which the majority of them are, each student equates to approximately $7,000 in aid. So, if a district loses a significant number of students, and class sizes are already small, sometimes it can put them into really difficult situations.”

The intermediate school district serves as the central support system for 16 public, four charter and 14-non-public schools in five counties.

Traverse City Area Public Schools is considering shuttering buildings with fewer than 200 students, the newspaper also reported.

The district had about 10,000 students last year.

“If you look at everyone’s enrollment, you would note the number of school-aged children in the region is decreasing,” district Human Resources Executive Director Chris Davis said. “I think we should be concerned about that.”

The number of 5- to 18-year-olds in the five-county region dropped about 4 percent from 2010 to 2013, according to U.S. Census figures.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, https://www.record-eagle.com

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