Timing of projected Clovis enrollment drop could prove costly

By Gabriel Monte: CNJ staff writer

Clovis Schools could lose as much as $480,000 in state funding if more students are pulled out of school in the next month because of Cannon Air Force Base’s transition to the Special Operations Command.

Clovis Schools Deputy Superintendent Ladona Clayton said at Tuesday’s Clovis Board of Education meeting as many as 120 students of military personnel could be leaving school in February and March. The projection was based on interviews with students’ parents assigned to the base.

State funding for schools districts is based on enrollment on the 120th school day, which is Feb. 20. Schools receive about $4,000 per student, Clayton said.

“If the kids leave us after the 120th day, we’re okay,” she said.

Clovis Superintendent Rhonda Seidenwurm said a vast majority of the state money goes to the operational budget, which pays for salaries of teachers and school personnel.

Seidenwurm said a drop in funding could affect how many teachers will stay for next year.

“When 85 to 95 percent of our money is in salaries, the only way to address that loss is in cuts in personnel,” she said.

As of Jan. 17, there were 8,024 students enrolled in Clovis schools, Clayton said.

In other business Board of Education members:

• Approved permission to travel for the Yucca Middle School Chap Dance, the Clovis High School Freshman Campus Wildcadette Stars and the Marshall Middle School Drill Team.
The students will be competing in March dance and drill team competitions in Sante Fe.

• Recognized Ranchvale elementary teacher Sheri Robbins for passing a national teacher board certification.
Robbins has taught at the school for seven years.