The Waunakee school board heard news it hasn’t perhaps ever before: the district’s enrollment has declined. The trend is showing up in districts throughout the nation during the COVID-19 pandemic. An Oct. 9 report from Wisconsin Public shows enrollment declines in 20 states, in districts of all income levels.
District Administrator Randy Guttenberg presented the Waunakee school board with the third Friday count, the tally of students enrolled as of the third Friday in September.
It revealed the Waunakee district had lost about 80 students, he said, although it saw an increase of 10 students through open enrollment. It also saw an increase of 23 students enrolling out of the district.
“That does have a piece that impacts us on a budgetary level,” Guttenberg said, adding the budget committee will discuss it and come back to the board.
Guttenberg said in talking to colleagues in Dane County, Waunakee’s enrollment shift is similar to other schools.
He added that it will have impact in the future as it plays into the three-year revenue model for state aid.