Lawrence school officials on Wednesday projected a 445-student increase in the district's fall semester enrollment.
But the increase, they said, is not driven by an influx in new families. Instead, it's tied to a 350-student increase in the Lawrence Virtual School enrollment and the district's ability to count 95 adults taking part in its diploma completion program at the Douglas County Jail.
"We're not anticipating an increase in regular enrollment," said the district's finance director, Kathy Johnson.
Though Lawrence continues to grow, few of the city's newcomers - college students, retirees and "empty nesters," mostly - have school-age children.
Last year, district officials projected an additional 280 students, but only 57 showed up.
The shortfall resulted in the district losing roughly $850,000 in state aid.
Addressing a meeting of the school board, Johnson said the district is likely to receive an additional $2.3 million in state aid for the 2006-07 school year, assuming the Kansas Supreme Court upholds the Legislature's three-year, $466 million funding package.
The court heard arguments for and against the package last month but gave no indication when it would issue a ruling.
The school board has until July 31 to assemble a 2006-07 budget, followed by an Aug. 14 public hearing.
"We have no idea if we'll have the information we'll need by July 31," Johnson said.
Board member Sue Morgan shared Johnson's frustration. "We're in sort of a Never Never Land as far as scheduling goes," she said.
Though board members welcomed the prospects of receiving an additional $2.3 million, their enthusiasm was tempered by their having fielded more than $7 million in requests for additional spending. In other action, board members:
l Elected Morgan and board member Linda Robinson to a one-year terms as board president and vice president, respectively.
l Announced that Supt. Randy Weseman received an "excellent" performance rating and would serve another year.
l Approved a benefits package for teachers, including single-employee health insurance.
"We are comfortable with the package offered by the board," said Adela Solis, president of the Lawrence Education Assn.
The district's salary negotiations with teachers have stalled, pending the state Supreme Court's decision.