The Perry School District won’t know their official student numbers until the certified enrollment is released later this year. However, initial figures indicate a drop from last year.
Superintendent Clark Wicks says the basic enrollment, which is essentially students in the seats, is down about 59 students from last year. According to Wicks, Perry’s enrollment has swung back and forth for several years; the school was up 60 students last year, and down 59 the previous year. As funding from the state is determined by enrollment, the current downswing will adversely affect the District in the short term. Wicks says this is a concern, but he believes the school can rally.
“It is an issue, but I look at more of an opportunity to be financially secure and go down this financial path where we will be very sustainable and efficient. So it is a difference maker. Could be up to $400,000 difference when you do not have those students. We had a large high school graduating class and then we have a small kindergarten class. So that happens, where you get some pockets, but I think our staff and our Board and our community will be up for the challenge.”
In the meantime, Wicks says the District will have to tighten-up spending, as they already are faced with around a $650,000 deficit. In spite of the gloomy outlook, Wicks is optimistic Perry will be out of the red in the next three years, and will become a strong and sustainable District. To hear more from Wicks, listen to Tuesday’s Perry Fareway Let’s Talk Dallas County program at RaccoonValleyRadio.com.