WJTV News Channel 12 - Student enrollment expected to drop below 10,000 in Bedford

Student enrollment expected to drop below 10,000 in Bedford

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BEDFORD COUNTY -

UPDATE:

Mark Blankenship has been working for the past four years to monitor the amount of students in Bedford County, and as he reported to the school board Thursday night the number of kids in the counties public classrooms is going down

Drastically.

Next years projection is fewer than ten thousand --the lowest number this board has seen in years .

This adds complications to the staffing in classrooms and to the school systems bank account.

"It's a decrease in the amount of state funding that we receive. If we lose 230 students, that's a lot of money," Blankenship said.

WSLS wanted to know exactly how much the school would be losing.

Spokesperson Ryan Edwards tells us the school would lose more than four thousand dollars per student that fell under the ten thousand mark, meaning Bedford is projected to lose almost two-hundred thousand dollars next school year.

Blankenship told the board that kindergarten classes are getting smaller each year and last year alone - almost seventy kids transferred out.

"We have a larger number of students being home schooled and parents making that decision to home school their kids and we have had some transfers out to private schools," Blankenship said.

With the declining numbers in front of them the board had a lot of questions.

But Blankenship says there aren't easy answers.

"There are only so many kids that are being born each year in Bedford county and they are coming in five years later so I hope that the number of kids will remain steady and not drop any further."

And until then all the board can do is wait for next years enrollment and hope it doesn't drop below that crucial mark.

 

Original Report

 

According to forecasting reports student enrollment in Bedford County is expected to drop below 10,000 for the first time in years.

This potential drop is significant because when the student population drops below that magic number, Bedford County Schools will lose funding for the education system.

Ryan Edwards with the Bedford County School System tells WSLS that the school will lose thousands of dollars for every student that falls below the 10,000 mark.

"The incremental change per student is $4,568," Edwards said.

The student population next year is estimated at 9,963 students.

The School Board is expected to discuss this issue at Thursday nights meeting.

WSLS will continue to keep you updated on this story. Watch WSLS tonight at 11 p.m. for more information.

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