ACS to lose 2 teaching units

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 22, 2010

The Andalusia City School System is expected to lose at least two teaching units next year because of a 47-student decrease in enrollment.

Each year, systems are required to submit 40-day enrollment numbers that record average daily membership (ADM) or daily enrollment. Those numbers, which are gathered based on the first 20 days of school after Labor Day, are used to determine the level of state funding for a system — which includes teacher salaries.

Superintendent Ted Watson said Thursday that despite the decrease, the system’s enrollment numbers are “holding steady.”

Andalusia High School was the only school in the system to report an increase in students from 448 in 2009 to 470 in 2010.

In 2009, Andalusia Elementary School student population numbered 873. In 2010, that number dropped by 49 to 823. At Andalusia Middle School, there were 397 in 2009; however, in 2010, enrollment decreased by 20 to 377 students.

“What happened was that we didn’t have a large number of students enroll for kindergarten at the elementary school,” Watson said. “Then, we had a large class to leave the middle school and go to the high school, which is why the middle school showed a decrease in students, and the high school showed an increase.”

Watson said the system-wide loss of 47 students means the system will lose the funding for at least two teacher units.

“It’s disappointing, but what can you do?” he said.

The Covington County School System reported a 73-student increase in enrollment numbers from 2009, while Opp City School System reported a decrease of four students overall.

Last year, all three systems credited the economy and the flu for heavily impacting ADM numbers.

All three superintendents said “luckily” there was no flu during the first part of the school year.