Enrollment decline could impact local schools' revenue

In this week’s meeting of the Miles City Unified Board of Trustees, district enrollment was discussed.

Enrollment is down from this time last year said Superintendent Keith Campbell. The decreases could affect the future budget. 

According to Campbell, the decrease is possibly due to the economic downturn in the area referring to the oil and gas impact. 

“I am not certain of why truthfully,” said Campbell in an email. “I can guess that we lost some kids when the oil and gas industry slowed down but to be truthful, eastern Montana has been losing numbers for several years. The oil and gas boom just brought more in for awhile.”

According to Campbell, he believes that the district will be stable for awhile.

This time last year Custer County District High School (CCDHS) had 522 students. Currently they have 504. That is a decrease of 18 students.

Washington Middle School is down 19 students from this time last year, going from 230 to 211.

That puts the high school and middle school down a total of 37 students.

The elementary school district which includes kindergarten through sixth grade are up in enrollment from last year. 

The elementary school district is up 17 students between the four elementary schools. 

According to Campbell, the district has had two large kindergarten classes back to back so the elementary district could continue to grow.

The state contributes roughly $5,000 per student in K-6 and $6,600 per student in grades 7-12. 

According to Campbell, the high school losing 18 students would mean the district could potentially lose up to $125,000 in the budget but the state runs a three-year average so the district won’t lose all of that money as they haven’t been down in enrollment much the two previous years. 

This is the second enrollment count. The first took place in October. 

In October enrollment was also down. 

“It hurts us a little bit losing those junior high students. It hurts us quite a bit but there are ways to counter balance that,” said Campbell, referring to the state’s three-year average. 

Also discussed at Monday’s meeting was an update on Eva Kor.

According to CCDHS history teacher John Tooke, they’re almost at the the $10,000 mark of funds raised. They currently have $9,000.

Kor will be in Miles City on Sunday April 23 and Monday April 24. She will be speaking in the CCDHS gym at 6 p.m. on Sunday and 10:30 a.m. on Monday. 

Both events are open to the public. Any additional proceeds earned from the events will go to further Holocaust education in the school district.

Kor, a Holocaust survivor, is a forgiveness advocate and a popular public speaker. 

For any questions contact Tooke at jtooke@milescity.k12.mt.us.