Open enrollment could mean big money for school districts - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Open enrollment could mean big money for school districts

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WAUSAU (WAOW) --  Governor Walker put pen to paper, signing a bill extending the deadline for students to transfer to other school districts.

"It empower families and helps if there is a tragedy, movement, career change. It's to make sure those things don't penalize a child or student," Gov. Scott Walker said.

Parents now have until April 30th to file for a transfer for the following school year.  School district leaders say the extra time will help families, but will put educators in a time crunch.

"We will have to push back some of out things like planning for staffing. But, we're here all summer so we'll get it done," Nell Anderson from the Wausau School District said.

At the Wausau School District, open enrollment numbers were up last year.  School officials say 185 students transferred in to the district, while 148 transferred out.

"A lot of people work in this area so parents are coming from small communities to work and want their children close by," Anderson explained.

But other districts saw enrollment numbers head in the other direction.  The Mosinee School District had 87 students leave their schools, while only 55 students transferred in.

"It often has to do with where people are living," Jerry Rosso, Mosinee School Superintendent said.

And when a student leaves a district, school funding goes with them. In fact, each student is worth roughly $6,000 to a district.

"We're talking about 30 students out of 2200. So, it's not a big part of our budget," Rosso said.

And Anderson agreed, "we get some money but its not all that it takes to educate a child."

District leaders say vocational schools and virtual classrooms are starting to become a popular option.  And the extended deadline will only help parents make the right choice for their families.

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