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Schools face funding cuts
Grant Swallows headshot.jpg

Fewer students will mean less state funding.

The Warren County School System is facing staffing cuts for the next school year due a drop in enrollment of nearly 200 students.

“I don’t want to sound an alarm and have people think they will be losing their jobs,” said Director of Schools Grant Swallows. “We’re going to handle this through attrition. When people retire or leave the school system, we’re going to look at not replacing some of those positions.”

Swallows said at this point last year, the school system had 6,252 students. Total enrollment as of Wednesday was 6,054, or 198 students less.

The state’s funding formula is complicated, but Swallows said schools are roughly compensated $7,500 per student. With 198 fewer students, that translates to a reduction of $1.48 million in funding.

“We’ve done a lot of good things to keep our students and being down 198 is not bad compared to some school systems around us that are down 500 students,” said Swallows. “We’re hoping our numbers go back up next year. A lot of parents delayed sending their kids to kindergarten this year because of the pandemic and some chose to home school. We’re hoping our numbers go back up next year.”

Swallows said the goal is to be smart on how teachers and support staff are assigned. He said this may involve some shifting while abiding by state guidelines on class size.

The maximum class size for grades K-3 is 25 students.

Maximum class size for grades 4-6 is 30 students, and for grades 7-12 is 35 students.

For career and technical courses, maximum class size is 25 students.