For the third straight year, the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School’s opening-day enrollment has come up short of its administration projections, setting the stage for significant budget cuts even as the new school year just gets underway.
Just 129 students attended the Gloucester Community Arts Charter School when it opened on Tuesday, according to the school’s business office. That marks a 28 percent shortfall from the 180 students for which the school was budgeted in August, and ranks below the school’s final enrollment for last year – 132 — despite the addition of two new grades this year.
The school has opened a kindergarten and first grade this year to compete the school’s planned K-8 grade profile.
The school’s first quarter funding is already set at the 180-student mark. But the enrollment figures, if they remain steady through the Oct. 1 reporting deadline, mean that the school can see a $571,200 cut to its $2.25 million budget for the new school year that began Tuesday. The school’s budget is based on $11,200 per pupil, according to the state charter school guidelines.
The school’s verified pre-enrollment for this year was 212, according to the annual report the school filed with the state Department of Education.
But the charter school saw similar similar enrollment shortfalls in its first two years as well. Last year, the charter came in 60 students below its pre-enrollment expectations, and took at $200,000 budget cut that resulted in the layoff of one administrator, a 5 percent pay cuts for the teaching staff, and other cutbacks during the 2011-2012 school year.
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Steven Fletcher can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3455, or at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @StevenGDT