By Kelsey Parkinson
Williamston Post staff writer
While Michigan is recovering from the economic downturn over the past few years, the state’s schools are still suffering – but not from funding. From declining enrollment.
Williamston Community Schools’ student enrollment has gone from 1,884 students during the 2009-10 school year, to 1,799 students this school year, according to the Michigan Department of Education.
This trend is being seen statewide, according to Brian Ciloski, analyst at the MDE.
“Statewide, we went from 1,623,000 in 2009-2010, to 1,523,000 this year,” Ciloski said. “There’s been about 20,000 students a year that the state has been losing.”
What has been causing this downward trend? Williamston School Board Trustee Rhonda Coon thinks that it might have something to do with a kind of “baby boom.”
“The largest graduating class was in 2010, with 191 students graduating,” Coon said. “There was a small baby boom, I guess you could say, in 1991 and 1992. Those kids graduated in 2010.”
Coon herself moved to Williamston at about the time her own son was starting kindergarten. He graduated in 2010.
“There was a lot of growth at the time I moved to Williamston,” Coon said. “We’re now seeing that boom affecting us.”