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Flint schools fall short on count day, but officials say numbers headed in the right direction

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The Flint school district once again fell short of its student count day forecast.   

90% of a district’s per-pupil funding from the state is based on the fall count day number.    

Flint fell about 150 students short of its projection for this year. Flint gets roughly $7,500 from the state for each student.  The district will now have to redo its plan to eliminate its $20 million deficit. 

Larry Watkins is Flint’s interim superintendent. He’s not disappointed by the number.

“This is the first time in years that we have not lost a thousand students,” says Watkins. “For me, it’s a win.”

Preliminary numbers at the start of the school year suggested Flint schools were looking at the loss of another 1,000 students.

Watkins credits the work of school employees for slowing the decline in the district’s student population.

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio
Michigan Radio
Interim School Superintendent Larry Watkins (right) talks about today's count day numbers as principal Shelly Umphreys listens.

District officials announced today’s count number at Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary School. The school’s own count day number was up by about 50 students.

“Some of it is about getting good information out to our parents right away so they know some of the great things that we are doing,” says Principal  Shelly Umphrey. “Bottom line, it’s about taking care of people’s children, making sure they are safe and providing great educational experience for them.”  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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