(10/29/2002)
By Dianne Weaver

Educators in most West Virginia counties have been watching their student enrollment decline, sometimes in significant numbers each year. October 15 has been the day when county school systems report their actual enrollments, which dramatically affects the amount of per pupil money each county receives.

West Virginia's school enrollment dropped by 20,000 students since 1998, and is expected to drop another 6,000 by 2005-06.

County second month enrollment for the past five years

Calhoun County

2002-2003: 1,283
2001-2002: 1,289
2000-2001: 1,318
1999-2000: 1,430
1998-1999: 1,476

Clay County

2002-2003: Three requests, not made available
2001-2002: 2,129
2000-2001: 2,118
1999-2000: 2,181
1998-1999: 2,159

Gilmer County

2002-2003: 1,115
2001-2002: 1,095
2000-2001: 1,129
1999-2000: 1,180
1998-1999: 1,188

Roane County

2002-2003: 2,604
2001-2002: 2,683
2000-2001: 2,783
1999-2000: 2,812
1998-1999: 2,896

Wirt County

2002-2003: 1,048
2001-2002: 1,112
2000-2001: 1,164
1999-2000: 1,163
1998-1999: 1,187

Three attempts to obtain Clay County's numbers were unsuccessful, "Our numbers aren't in yet," according to board office administration. The Herald will try to obtain the statistic through a Freedom of Information request.

Meanwhile, the state is doing a study of problems regarding special education teachers. Most systems have a shortage of certified special education teachers. In December, 2001, only a few counties had the required number of special ed teachers, including Calhoun, Wirt, Doddridge, McDowell, Ohio, Preston and Tyler.


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