MCC numbers are down, but the math isn’t that simple

October 30, 2013

SCOTTVILLE — Mason County Central Schools’ most recent budget crisis was caused because enrollment is down by 48 students, compared to last year. The school receives $7,040 per student from the state; the money is raised by 2% of the state’s 6% income tax. However, the math isn’t as simple as just 48 students no longer attend the school.

“We are at 1,338 students,” Superintendent Jeff Mount said, “which is 48 students down from last year. But, the big portion of that is the difference between last year’s graduating senior class of 126 and this year’s incoming kindergarten of 104.”

Mount said there are other factors as well.

– There are 114 new students at MCC this year; 53 have come from other school districts through schools of choice (1 in 3 MCC students live in other school districts); 44 have come from out of the district.

– 135 students have transferred out, of those 42 transferred to other area schools such as Mason County Eastern, Ludington Area Schools, Manistee, Baldwin and Covenant Christian School; 39 have gone to other schools outside the immediate area, but still in the state; 17 moved out of the state; 4 now attend West Shore Community College’s ASM Tech program; 7 chose homeschooling; 9 are in alternative education and 17 are unaccounted for.

“We only have so many students in our local population,” Mount said, “and, unfortunately that population is shrinking. There are 2,600 fewer students in the West Shore Educational School District (Mason, Lake, Oceana counties) compared to 1996 and 1,200 fewer kids in the last six years.”

Over the past five years, MCC has lost an average of 25 students per year.

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