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Enrollment levels impact funding for area schools

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The pandemic hit school districts hard in 2020, with Wisconsin schools losing 25 thousand students, and statewide, it hasn't quite bounced back.

"You're obviously hoping that if you're in a school system you're gonna recoup some of those students and some of them will return." said Mark Sommerhauser, Communications Director for the Wisconsin Policy Forum.

But the school districts in Stevens Point and Wausau are just two of a few districts across the state that have been able to recoup and stabilize their enrollment.

Both are seeing just above a 1% increase heading into the upcoming school year.

"As we see these numbers continue to stabilize over the next several years, well be able to continue to make better decisions for our students and staff." said Sarah O'Donnell, Communications Director for the Stevens Point Area Public Schools.

A big reason enrollment matters to districts is state funding is based off those enrollment numbers, which had been slowly decreasing over the last decade. This leaves many districts to turn to taxpayer funded referendums.

"Certainly long term, if you have a district that is seeing long term enrollment decline that's gonna be something that's gonna affect their state funding," said Sommerhauser.

Districts also say enrollment could also still go up as the year progresses.

For more information or to view the Wisconsin Policy Forums DataTool click here.

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