Enrollment count do-over begins in Beloit

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BELOIT - The School District of Beloit is doing a recount of students because a discrepancy was found between its original enrollment figures and the numbers of students on its class rosters.

Although most schools submit enrollment numbers to the Wisconsin Department of Public Intruction (DPI) on Friday, Oct. 5 and then make them public, the School District of Beloit is still counting students this week. The district plans to resubmit the new numbers to DPI by this Friday, Oct. 12 as DPI releases the state aid figures on Monday, Oct. 15.

State aid is based on enrollment.

On Friday Oct. 5 around 11:30 p.m., Public Information Officer Brian Vissers sent the Beloit Daily News an email stating the total enrollment count was 6,974 students, but said the district did not have the corresponding numbers of students enrolling in and enrolling out of the district under the state's public school open enrollment program.

The newspaper has continued to request those numbers since the figures can have a significant effect on state funding levels for the district.

Beloit Turner sent its enrollment figures, including open enrollment, to the Beloit Daily News last week. The Turner numbers again this year showed an increase in students enrolling-in, mostly from the Beloit district.

In an interview on Wednesday morning, Interim Superintendent Don Childs said the district has been recounting the numbers. He said the enrollment figure of 6,974 was the best estimate as of Friday, but there were subsequent modifications to that number. He did not have the latest number available as of press time but said it was below the original figure of 6,974.

"That's what triggered a recount," Childs said.

When those at the district looked at meals served, he said they found 100 students not reported. Class lists also indicated more potential students. The district then decided to double check numbers at each building.

Childs said he doesn't know why there is a discrepancy between actual students and the enrollment numbers. He said it could be a data entry error in the Skyward system occurring when 13 schools are all uploading data, but that would only be a guess.

The Beloit School District's enrollment trend continues to decrease. Enrollment last year was 6,823. Enrollment in 2016-2017 was 6,943 and in 2015-2016 it was 7,012, according to information from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

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