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Number of students in Mabton schools steadily decreasing

MABTON - Enrollment in the Mabton School District has declined 5 percent since last October.

That's according to Business Manager Gina Grow, who provided the enrollment figures last night, Tuesday, to the Mabton School Board.

In October 2011 the Mabton School District had a total enrollment of 903 students and as of this month the number had dropped to 856. It's a loss of 47 students and the district's lowest figure for May since 2006.

Grow said enrollment typically fluctuates throughout the school year, with numbers decreasing over winter and picking back up in the spring. That didn't happen for the 2011-12 school year, as the numbers continued to decline.

"It's a concern," she said.

Grow noted Mabton school enrollment was down each of the first five months of 2012 compared to the same time frame in 2011.

"What's really disturbing is that in February we started dropping by five students a month," she said.

Mabton's overall average enrollment this school year, the basis for its funding, is 880 students.

The district used a low estimate this year for budgeting purposes, figuring on 872 students, so the low numbers aren't affecting the budget yet.

Grow cautioned that next year's budget, though, will have to be based on an even lower student enrollment estimate.

The district doesn't yet know the cause of the decline, she added, but that reduced enrollment is being experienced across all grade levels.

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