A big day for Wisconsin schools and taxpayer dollars

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KENOSHA, Wisconsin – An important day for Wisconsin schools and your taxes is Friday, the third Friday in September.

“Today is countdown day. It’s the third day of the Friday count, across Wisconsin actually, ”said Mary Modder, Treasurer of the Kenosha School Board.

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This is the day that student enrollment is counted, and that count determines how much money a school district receives per student. Thus, the more students a district has, the more likely they are to obtain funds and taxes.

“This enrollment number is recorded by the state and determines the amount of funding our district will receive based on these enrollment numbers,” said Yolanda Adams, President of the Kenosha School Board.

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In the Kenosha Unified School District, the school board said some parents and community members unhappy with the mask’s mandate said they would keep their students at home on Friday to disrupt the tally.

“We’ve seen posts on Facebook and other places like emails where they encourage parents to keep their kids at home,” Adams said.

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However, just keeping a child at home does not affect the count. According to the Wisconsin Department of Public Education, if children are sick, quarantined or out of class for any reason, they can still be counted, as long as they are enrolled in school.

“Students who are not here today, if they are enrolled, schools will locate them in the next few weeks and send an amended tally,” Modder said.

students at school in masks and social distance

Rebecca Klopf

Students at MacDowell Montessori School sit in masks behind plastic partitions for added safety during COVID as they begin their first day of class.

Overall, public schools in Wisconsin have experienced a decline in enrollment in the past school year. There were 27,000 fewer students attending public schools during the pandemic, compared to the 2019-20 school year.

Kenosha has also experienced a decline in her neighborhood:

Kenosha Unified School District:

  • 2019-2020: 20 919
  • 2020-2021: 19,583
  • 1,336 fewer students in 2020-2021

“Last year a lot of what happened was that parents chose to keep their 4 year olds, kindergarten and younger students at home because of different fears, and not not sure how that would work for the virtual school, ”Modder said.

teachers mask children school milwaukee

Rebecca Klopf

Milwaukee teachers stand in front of their students at MPS MacDowell Montessori School with masks and one in a plastic shield to be safe during COVID.

Kenosha is not the only district to have registered a drop in the number of registrations last year. Milwaukee Public Schools have done the same:

Milwaukee Public Schools:

  • Fall 2019-2020: 74,683
  • Fall 2020-2021: 71,510
  • 3,173 fewer students in 2020-2021

However, the Kenosha School Board expects their numbers to at least go the other way.

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“It’s just going to increase by the number of people who have their kids enrolled in school right after the summer. So that sounds good to us. I think it goes up from what we expected, but fine. sure we’re not pre-COVID so we still have to get some of those students we lost back, ”Adams said.

The count took place on Friday, but the numbers are not due to the state until next month. That’s when we’ll know the official enrollment numbers for all public schools in Wisconsin.

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