As of September 3, there were just 8,686 students enrolled in the local school district, the lowest number in the past decade. Pegge Erkeneff with the district that if the numbers don’t turn around in the next month, they’ll face a decrease in state funding.
Erkeneff: “Our overall enrollment, we were projecting was for 8,873 students peninsula-wide, and so we’re a little bit down from that right now. Hopefully we’ll get more students coming in. We also do know, that there’s no indication as a whole on the peninsula that we are experiencing an influx of new families moving here. So, we think we’ll be holding steady, but we are a little bit low right now.”
6th grade enrollment was the big surprise this year, with student numbers down about 10 percent from predictions.
There was also a steep drop in the number of students enrolling in the 12th grade, but Kenai Central High School Principal Alan Fields says that hasn’t affected his school…
Fields: “Our full time enrollment is at 540 students and then we have another 30 part time students, so we’ve been holding our own the enrollment over the district has dropped over the last several years but Kenai Central has maintained its enrollment, when I started here 12 years ago we had 545 students and we have 540 today so that shows we really haven’t declined here at Kenai Central.”