Marysville Getchell High School. (Michael O’Leary / Herald file)

Marysville Getchell High School. (Michael O’Leary / Herald file)

Spending on hold in Marysville until enrollment is known

The school district braced for fewer students, but initial numbers were lower than expected.

By Steve Powell / The Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District is putting a hold on major purchases and hiring until it can figure out its fluctuating enrollment.

On its first of 10 official count days throughout the year, the district had 10,019 students. That is down 69 from what was projected. Since the state pays about $10,000 for each student, that would mean a $690,000 shortfall in the budget.

Finance director Mike Sullivan said at Monday’s school board work session that the district already had planned to have 190 fewer students than last year. That is almost $2 million less from the state that already has been figured into the budget. The district had not planned on having about 260 fewer students.

However, in an unofficial count later, the district was only down 25 students. “We picked up 44 in one week,” Sullivan said.

So, he wants to wait until the next official count in October before taking any major steps.

As for the numbers, he said Marysville Getchell High School is down 37 students in the 11th grade. Pinewood Elementary is down 18 in grade 2. Overall, kindergarten through third grade is down 80 students, by far the most of any grouping. He said sixth-graders are up 30 at Cedarcrest Middle School, but down 19 at Marysville Middle School.

School board director Chris Nation asked if those were in-district transfers, but Sullivan said he hasn’t analyzed the numbers yet.

The housing market has been busy in and around Marysville, but not necessarily inside school district boundaries in recent years. Large developments are at the north end, where students go to Lakewood or Arlington, or south, near Lake Stevens. There also are students who opt to attend campuses outside the district because they live closer to those schools.

This story originally appeared in The Marysville Globe, a sibling paper to the Herald.

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