County student enrollment sees hike in October
Enrollment numbers released in October for the Lee County School District show that student populations are starting to increase.
The school district takes enrollment numbers every month of the school year, but total enrollment in October is the official amount sent to the state for funding purposes.
All of the state’s 67 school districts belong to the Florida Education Finance Program, which collects tax money from all the counties and doles out funding according to enrollment and a number of other factors.
Ami Desamours, budget director for the Lee County School District, said enrollment has increased from what was earlier projected. As of October there were 79,200 full-time equivalent students, while the projection was 78,727.
District enrollment decreased for the first time last year. In 2008 there were 79,094 students in Lee County, and during the last school year it dropped to 78,282. The decrease in students resulted in less funding from the state.
Even though the school district enrolled approximately 500 more students last month, Desamours said the state could have a difficult time reimbursing districts for increases in student populations, therefore Lee County could get prorated funding.
“Because many districts are up across the state, if it (the state) doesn’t have enough money to cover funding for all of the students that are up, we will see a proration,” she said. “We are waiting to see how that calculation plays out for the state.”
The enrollment of additional students is good news for the local economy, Desamours said, which may be in the process of rebounding from the economic collapse of 2008.