Schools take student counts for academic year

By BOB OLIVER
Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN — Last Wednesday was one on the most important of the year for local schools: count day.

Per-pupil district funding is determined based on student body counts taken twice a year, once in October and once in February.

The October student body numbers account for 90 percent of the per-pupil funding for districts.

Dearborn Public Schools has about 19,500 students and receives $8,412 per student from the state.

DPS Communications Director David Mustonen said it’s hard to make a good estimate of the student body before the official count, but that it appears to be growing.

“We could be up a couple hundred and closing in on 20,000 students,” Mustonen said. “That’s good because we can use the additional money brought in for the students, but we’re worried about how that will change our classroom structure because we have very full buildings now.”

The student body gained 255 new members last year, which was the 26th consecutive year of growth for the district. It is the third largest school district in the state.

Mustonen said the district will have preliminary numbers within a week of the count, but the schools have one month to audit the results, so finalized numbers won’t be ready for several weeks.

In Dearborn Heights, all three school districts also had their count day on Oct. 1. District 7 and Westwood Community Schools have about 2,700 students each while Crestwood schools has about 3,400 students.

Calls to Westwood Supt. Sue Carnell and Crestwood Supt. Laurine VanValkenburg were not returned by press time.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.com.)