CHESTERTON | Enrollment at Duneland schools is down by 43 students from last year, a drop that brings with it a budget hit of about $200,000.
During Monday night’s Duneland School Board Meeting, Superintendent David Pruis reported that official enrollment for all Duneland Schools is 5,722. Last year's enrollment was 5,765.
He said numbers were up in kindergarten and at the high and middle schools but down in first through sixth grades.
After talking to people across the state, Pruis said, most districts are experiencing losses, except in the central part of the state where increases are minimal.
“The reduction was not as significant as it may have been. We are in okay shape. We’ll see what happens through the budget review process,” Pruis said.
In other business, Pruis reviewed the status of the 2014 budget approval process. He made the recommendation to adopt the budget as presented, which was unanimously approved.
Also approved with Pruis’s recommendation were resolutions to adopt the school bus replacement plan for 2014 through 2015, approve the capital projects fund plan for 2014 through 2016, approve retirement and pension debt fund changes and reduce appropriations to tax supported funds for the 2014 budget.
“Assessed value looks to be down a little over half a percent. It’s a continuing trend since 2008,” Pruis said. He noted that questions to the auditor’s office on if the county numbers include the hospital have gone unanswered.
Chief Financial Officer Lynn Kwilesz said she would ask Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder again. She said the impact on the budget will be minimal since she inflated numbers to accommodate for the forecasted assessment decline.
Prior to the meeting, third-graders from Brummitt Elementary made a presentation to the Duneland School Board on the benefits of a rain garden and their plan to partner with the Save the Dunes Council to construct one at their school.