Projected at 1,125, it sits at 1,102

    When the Crookston School Board and district administration finalized the 2018-19 school year budget last spring and summer, they made what they thought was an especially conservative student enrollment (average daily membership or ADM) projection. That way, if the trend in recent years of enrollment dropping from the fall to spring continued, the district wouldn’t be caught in a revenue pinch, since state education funding amounts to around $9,000 per student.

    Turns out, the conservative estimate of 1,125 ADMs wasn’t conservative enough, as Superintendent Jeremy Olson reported to the board Monday that current enrollment stands at 1,102 ADMs. He recommended that the district make a mid-school year ADM adjustment and report it to the Minnesota Department of Education.

    If the current ADM holds, that amounts to a drop in state funding of approximately $207,000.

    “Honestly, I think we were really thinking we were being conservative at 1,125,” Board Chair Frank Fee said. “It’s really unbelievable. I just can’t believe this happens every year.”

    Asked by board member Dave Davidson how much Crookston High School juniors and seniors attending college full-time via the Post-Secondary Enrollment Option (PSEO) is playing a role in the latest enrollment decline, Olson said he believes 13 or 14 juniors and seniors are full-time PSEO students. In that event, he noted, the state education funding goes to the institute of higher education the student is attending, and not the school district.

    By making the mid-year adjustment, Olson said the idea is to avoid “getting into a position where we get a negative adjustment” at the end of the fiscal year. “We don’t want a large negative receivable at the end of the year,” he said.

    The superintendent added that going forward from this point to the end of the school year, “common sense” adjustments are being made to the budget and will continue to be made, driven by the $207,000 hit to the revenue ledger.