School population steady despite apparent exodus
Data presented by Dare County Schools Superintendent Sue Burgess, however, indicates the school population is not only holding its own, but also growing slightly.
The 10-day enrollment figure, the official start of the year statistically, shows 4,919 students registered in grades K-12.
State budgeting to distribute funds to counties is based on a projection of students. School systems must meet or exceed that projection to receive the full funding allocated by the state.
Burgess reported Dare County exceeded that number. The 2012-13 enrollment represents a gain of 47 students from 2011, and is also higher than the 4,880 students enrolled prior to the local recession.
Adding in Pre-K students, Dare’s total enrollment this year is 5,045.
English as a Second Language (ESL) continues to grow, again differing from public perceptions that much of the Spanish-speaking population left during the recession. This year, 318 students are classified as ESL, a 60 percent increase from 2006-07 school year.
The school system reports 1,989 riders this year, using 40 buses and covering 1,989 miles of road. Using double runs for some vehicles has resulted in fewer buses required.
Burgess also reported that eligibility for free and reduced price meals stood at 47.6 percent of the student population — double the percentage six years ago.
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