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"Funding safe, despite enrollment drop"

"When classes started two weeks ago, the Central Kitsap School District had more students than it expected, but still many fewer than last year.The district's overall enrollment as of Sept. 15 was 12,670 students, eight more than the budgeted projection of 12,662. The school district enrollment average for the 1999-2000 school year was 12,864.Although that's not a big difference, Assistant Superintendent Gary Powell said school officials are puzzled over their inaccurate projections. At the district's 14 elementary schools, 134 fewer students enrolled than anticipated. That wasn't entirely unexpected - elementary school staff indicated all summer they were going to be below projections. Powell said he is unsure why enrollment dropped, but noted a decrease in birth rates as a possibility. Jackson Park Elementary, which came in 44 students below its projected enrollment, might get a boost from an influx of families settling at nearby Navy housing.At the district's junior high and high schools, however, 142 more students showed up for class than expected. Incoming ninth grade enrollment was 54 higher than projections. Powell was mystified why so many secondary students came into the district this year, but guessed that more mature families are moving into the area.That (enrollment) surprises me somewhat, Powell said.Powell said the overall secondary enrollment will decrease as the year progresses and seniors leave school early. Powell said the dip will ultimately mean little for the district, which receives about $4,000 per student from the state. Powell said the district would have to lose about 100 students before he starts to worrying about funding problems. We are fine and don't anticipate any funding problems, Powell said. "

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