Tag Archives: State School Fund

School Enrollment and Funding

Deconstructing the myths and understanding 

the realities of state funding for Vernonia Schools

When Vernonia School Superintendent Aaron Miller recently announced that enrollment at District 47J was up at the start of the 2014-15 school year, it sounded like good news.  And, for the most part, it is. 

“This is very good news,” stated Vernonia School District Superintendent Aaron Miller, when asked about the recent, and apparently unexpected surge, in registered students in Kindergarten through grade 12 at the new Vernonia Schools. “This is a huge step in the right direction.  It’s very exciting for our district to see new students come through the front door.”

The reason this is such good news is because School Districts in Oregon receive funding from the state, through the State School Fund (SSF) grant program, based on enrollment.

Enrollment in Vernonia at the start of this school year was counted at 560 students, up from 532 at the end of the 2013-14 school year.  The actual number is 589, but kindergarten students only count as a half student each, as far as the state is concerned.  So, for funding purposes, that’s an increase of twenty-eight students, which equates to a more than 5% increase.

That may not sound like much.  But in a school district which has experienced declining enrollment since the flood of 2007, including the last two years following the opening of the newly constructed schools campus, this is extremely encouraging.

“This is the first time we’ve moved forward since the flood,” says Miller, who took over as Superintendent this summer.  “In my mind that’s a very positive thing for the district and it’s a very positive thing for the community.”   Read More