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Austin School Enrollment Bucking State Trend

September 14, 2017 07:17 PM

It’s a number that’s almost unheard of:

"Across the state there's probably ten to fifteen districts that are really growing" said, David Krenz, superintendent of Austin Public Schools.

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Austin is one of them. And at the end of the first week of the new school year:

"We had 4981 students in grades k through 12” said, the school district’s Corey Haugen. “You compare that to a year ago at the same date, and same time frame, it's up 243 students.

That’s an increase of five percent.

A former state demographer, who studied the district's enrollment trends, predicted the increase in 2009.

"She brought back a report that the district should grow by about a thousand kids over the next ten years." superintendent David Krenz told us.

The Austin school district reached *that* number about two years earlier than expected.

"So this fall we have hired five new teachers" David Krenz explained. And because much of a school district's revenue is based on per-pupil aid from the state.

"We built our budget on an anticipated enrollment increase because we knew it would be going up."

The demographer's prediction also led to construction of Holton intermediate school for the district's 5th and 6th grade students.

"To alleviate overcrowding at our elementary and middle schools" superintendent David Krenz said.

“We are getting fuller, you can feel strain in some areas where you've got lots of kids in the hallways at passing time” the district’s Corey Haugen added. “But there's absolutely seats available for every student to be afforded the educational opportunities they should be afforded."

And looking down the road:

"We expect to see some continual increases over the next few years. We're anticipating that to plateau just slightly so that we're not growing at the same rate that we saw this year” Corey Haugen said.


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