Wausau School District sees enrollment drop 433 students

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 7:19 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The Wausau School District is seeing a drop in their enrollment of 433 students this year, which could play a role in the district’s funding for next year.

Wausau School District was originally expecting to only lose 38 students this school year.

With enrollment down, the Wausau School District is going to see more of an impact next year than this year.

“Whatever is happening right now with enrollment, that is not going to effect that state aid piece because that’s all baked in from last year,” Director of Financial Services for the Wisconsin District of Public Instruction Daniel Bush said.

As numbers dropped in the Wausau School District, it leaves uncertainty in the budget for next school year.

“If a district is having students not attend either because their parents are choosing to homeschool them or they’re too young that they don’t have to come to school yet, that impact will be felt more next year,” Bush said.

He said districts losing kids to open enrollment or choice programs will impact districts now.

“With open enrollment, students going from one public school district to another there’s a set dollar amount that gets transferred from the resident school district to the district they’re going [to] and that happens this year,” bush said.

As students have left Wausau school district for other area schools including D.C. Everest, Merrill, Marathon and Mosinee, Bush said a little over $8,000 goes to each district per student for funding.

“When you’re preparing your budget, you’re really trying to project as accurately as you can how many kids you’re going to have and I think it’s that uncertainty that people had of not knowing how many kids they were going to have to serve this fall and not knowing what they would actually be doing,” he said.

In order for the Wausau School District to revert back to a larger budget, enrollment will have to increase to what it was before.

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