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Increased student enrollment could hurt public schools

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Official enrollment for Springfield Public Schools for the 2010-11 school year increased by 169 students from the previous year, which the administration says could be troublesome considering staffing cuts made for the year.

The district has 24,129 students enrolled in the current school year, up from the 2009-10 number of 23,960, according to a news release.

School officials say the increased enrollment came at an inconvenient time for the district, which reduced its 2010-11 budget by $5.1 million and cut 57 full-time staff members, including 26 teachers.

“Reducing class size was one of the top priorities identified by the community in our strategic planning process,” Superintendent Norm Ridder said in the release. “It concerns me greatly to lose some of the progress made through recent years in reducing class size.”

The loss of 26 teachers increased class size in the district by approximately .75 students, the release said.

Ridder said the 2011-12 school year could be spread even thinner with the state projecting budget shortfalls.

"That combined with further increases in enrollment could further impact class size in the district," he said in the release. "As we engage the community to plan for next year’s budget, the district will explore every possible route to minimize the impact in our classrooms.”  

The breakdown of students for the 2010-11 school year:
  • 11,612 elementary school students;
  • 5,368 middle school students; and
  • 7,149 high school students.

Enrollment is counted each year on the last Wednesday of September.[[In-content Ad]]

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