The Chelsea School District Sees a Rise in 2021 Student Count Numbers From 2020


With an estimated addition of forty-four students enrolled in the Chelsea school system this year, the district is expecting to see $380,000 from the state, derived from student count money.

It is paramount for the Chelsea School District to get an exact student count so it can receive accurate state pay which supports the entire school district. Two days are set aside each year for student counts, the first count day in October, and the second in February.

“We have to go through many steps to ensure our enrollment is accurate,” Assistant Superintendent Marcus Kaemming said. “We have another day in February that we also track how many students are attending our school. Each building must double check these numbers very carefully to ensure we are accurate.”

When additional students enter the Chelsea School system, the extra money from the student count goes to the wages of District staff and necessary supplies to maximize quality in the schools’ curriculum.

“When there are more students, we need more staff to educate them,” Assistant Superintendent of Finance Michelle Cowhy said. “That is where the majority of the funds are spent.”

The money per student is decided by the State of Michigan. The amount varies depending on their budget and changes each year based on the annual inflow and outflow of money. Last year, Chelsea School District’s student count was around 2,297 students; the school received around $8,138 per pupil that year. The 2021-2022 official count number is to be certified on November 17th

“This year’s unfinalized count looks like it is around 2,341 students, not including part time students,” Cowhy said. “We should be receiving $8,700 per student for the 2021-2022 school year.”

To obtain an increase in funding, the number of incoming students needs to outweigh the number of outgoing students. For example, the number of new kindergarteners entering the school system would have to be greater than the number of graduating seniors leaving the system to be noticeable in the count.

“Each year, additional students come from new enrollments, school of choice, and some exchange students,” Kaemming said. “If we bring in more students than we lose in a year, there is a positive impact on the fund balance to start the next year.”