Jackson County Schools Down 189 Students

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Marianna- The new school year has been swiftly approaching, and many Jackson County kids have been shopping for clothes to meet new dress code requirements and waiting to find out their class schedules.

But there will be 189 fewer schedules for school officials to assign.

"Students have the choice of either enrolling in our district or someplace else" Director of Student Service, Shirl Williams said. "And sometimes that choose home education and those students are not counted in our student count. Some 10 or 11 years ago we had less than 100 students choosing home school education. We have quite a few, close to 300 now. "

But Williams said transfers and home-schoolers weren't the only factors.

"The major reason, we think, is the birth rate. It's much lower. The department of education has come up with a formula, they do some kind of a study and they're pretty accurate."

Regardless of the the reasons, officials knew empty desks meant empty pockets.

"If you have less students, that means you get less money and we've already been cut to the bone" Williams said. "We're operating on a very strict budget. We have fewer students, therefore we have fewer teachers and fewer activities that we can provide for our students."

School board officials already had to cut over 40 instructor and non-instructor positions from the 2013-2014 fiscal budget.

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