Despite flu outbreaks earlier this year, attendance in the Glen Rose Independent School District is once again on the rise.
Attendance has risen from 94.23 to 98.2 percent over the last several weeks. Although the numbers are headed north, the financial impact from previous absences is yet to be determined.
School districts in Texas receive funding based on their Average Daily Attendance (ADA) rate.
“We are a Chapter 41, property rich district. We retain our tax base based on the number of students who attend each day,” Superintendent Wayne Rotan said.
When the attendance percentage rate declines, so does funding.
“Every day a student is absent, it costs the district about $45. For every (attendance) percent we are down, we lose $100,000 (per year),” Rotan said.
When a school district suffers from an attendance decrease more than 10 percent, it can request a waiver from the Texas Education Agency. Glen Rose ISD, however, will not be eligible for the waiver, which could have a large financial impact.
“School districts that seek and receive approval to waive days of missed or low attendance will not suffer a penalty in their funding related to attendance,” the Texas Education Agency Web site states. “Districts must apply for the waiver; it will not be automatically given.”
Superintendents like Rotan are keeping an optimist outlook though.
“(Districts are) asking (legislatures) to consider some allowances this year because of all the viruses. I hope there will be some relief on that,” Rotan said. “Commissioner (of Education Robert Scott) wants to wait until further in the year and get more data (before requesting relief). We hope there will be some type of adjustment because every district in the state is (affected).”