Northern Michigan’s largest school district has fewer students than it did last year – 70 fewer according to the head count yesterday. Traverse City Area Public Schools still serves more than 10,000 students.
Funding for schools in Michigan is based on student numbers. 70 fewer students would mean about $500,000 less for TCAPS.
Interim Superintendent Paul Soma says it is early to say what exactly is happening with enrollment.
“The reality is we need to spend the next couple weeks really dissecting where students have gone and what has been working and what isn’t,” says Soma.
Soma says a big part of the problem appears to be demographics.
“We have 180 less kindergartners than we do outgoing 12th graders.”
One of the biggest drops this year was at Interlochen Elementary School, where enrollment is about 20 percent lower than last year.
The Interlochen school building is scheduled for renovations but voters have twice rejected bond proposals that would fund that and other projects.