By JUDY SHERARD

jsherard@dailynews.net

Hays USD 489 enrollment numbers came up short Sept. 22, the official counting day.

District officials presented the numbers at the board of education work session Monday night.

July estimates were 3,769.6 full-time equivalent students. The unaudited Sept. 22 count was 3,724.9, a difference of 44.7.

Since student count equals dollars, that means less money.

The district submitted $16,970,371 to the state as its general fund budget, but the actual working budget is less -- $16,812,629, said Tracy Kaiser, executive director of finance and support services.

"With the count, we came up just shy at $16,798,000," she said. "So we're only about $14,000 less in the general fund than we have in our working budget. LOB (is the) same situation. We're about $62,000 (less). So $76,000 less than what our working budget is."

The numbers won't be official until the district is audited by the state, which might not be until spring, Superintendent Dean Katt said.

"If those numbers actually do come in that way, we'll have to pay for some software or something like that out of capital outlay fund instead of general fund and supplemental general to cover that amount," Kaiser said.

Some items are under budget, so the money can be found there.

"When they audit us, they may find some things that we missed, too. It can go either way," she said.

Katt said the audited head count last year was 3,010. This year, the unaudited head count is 3,067, an increase of 57.

Last year's FTE without any weightings was 2,830. This year, it's 2,863.

"So we're up 33 FTE based on our head count enrollment," Katt said. "When you look at our weighted factors, this is where it hurt us with some of the legislative changes made last year. Last year, we were at 3,767 with the weightings. This year, we're at 3,724."

Weightings categories include low enrollment, bilingual, vocational education, at-risk, transportation, virtual students and declining enrollment.

"One of the big ones, we really thought we were going to get new facilities weighting on the middle school. They changed the language. We lost 32 FTE based on that," Katt said.

Another seven FTE were lost in non-proficient weighting.

"So out of the 43 (FTE lost), 39 of that was lost just in those two changes the legislators made from last year," he said.

"We knew about the facilities weighting going in," board member Sarah Rankin said.

Katt said the district was hoping to get an exception to the legislative change, but didn't.

"We really anticipated with our increased fees, more people would apply (for at-risk status) because of that reason. It actually went down," Kaiser said. "Forty-three less FTE at this year's funding, that's over $165,000 that we received less because of the legislative changes."

Unaudited Head Count Numbers

Kindergarten 269

Grade 1 267

Grade 2 254

Grade 3 223

Grade 4 254

Grade 5 201

Grade 6 237

Grade 7 203

Grade 8 192

Grade 9 213

Grade 10 196

Grade 11 189

Grade 12 175

Non-graded 90

3, 4, 5 year old (IEP) 64

4-yr. old at-risk 40

Source: USD 489