CLK overcomes enrollment decrease

Parents have had many choices in the last year about how to continue their children’s educations.
This is a recording of the TV6 News Tonight.
Published: Sep. 2, 2021 at 8:12 PM EDT
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CALUMET, Mich. (WLUC) - Calumet Laurium Keweenaw (CLK) Schools is now seeing the results of last year’s COVID-related academic difficulties.

To put things into perspective, CLK Schools Superintendent Chris Davidson says it’s best to compare enrollment numbers for this year to the pre-pandemic school year.

“Going back to 2019/2020, yeah, we’re down,” said Davidson. “We’re anticipating to be down about 100 [or] 102 students going into the school year.”

Student enrollment is important to public schools because it affects their per-pupil funding.

Administrators were faced with tough decisions regarding pandemic policy for the last school year. Additionally, a new public charter school is opening this year. With these two factors combined, some parents began to consider all of their options for their children’s educations.

“It’s hard. Obviously. You have to make some adjustments,” said Davidson. “But, I think we’ve always been a district [that] we want to provide choice to families.”

Davidson says that despite an overall decrease in student enrollment, CLK schools have been able to make things work.

Firstly, by an increase in per-pupil funding by the state that went into effect. Secondly, the district offered retirement incentives to those who were already close to retiring.

It also was able to offer additional benefits to new hires that were needed to fill important positions that opened up as well.

“We would’ve been fine either way. I think what that allowed us to do is just stay competitive in the current climate and environment, as far as wages and salaries,” said Davidson. “Nobody had to suffer just because our enrollment dropped.”

CLK Schools resumes classes on Tuesday, September 7.

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