By Bob Weaver

Calhoun Schools reduced a $1,800,000 2015 deficit a considerable amount, according to Andrew Metheney, Treasurer and Chief School Business Official.

Metheney said the deficit has been reduced every fiscal year since 2015, "although our financial audit has not been finalized for 2017."

"I am estimating a deficit reduction of nearly $500,000 since 2015," Metheney said.

"With declining enrollment and a number of other economic factors, it has been quite difficult for deficit reduction, however we have made significant progress. We are continuously thinking of ways to cut expenses and run as efficiently as possible," he said.

At the time the deficit was announced by state officials, Calhoun was the only county with a deficit. Since then, a number of other counties have been added to the list.

Calhoun has 54 home-schooled students, which drains money from per capita funding for individual students, according to Tyson Price, Chief Operating Officer of Curriculum and Instruction/Attendance Director.

For the 2017-2018 school year there have been 21 home-school requests granted by the Calhoun County Board of Education.

Metheney said, "Home-schooled children cost the county roughly $320,000 per year."

The Little Kanawha Valley Christian School in Big Bend currently has 46 students.

Calhoun Schools will soon have less than 1,000 students, a drop of from about 1,700 in 1990.

The current enrollment is listed as 1,032.

With West Virginians leaving the Mountain State, the state student enrollment has continued to decline.

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