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Florida school districts impacted by Hurricane Ian get flexibility in enrollment counts

Only the roof remains of a home, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., after the passage of Hurricane Ian.
Rebecca Blackwell
/
AP
Only the roof remains of a home, Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022, in Fort Myers Beach, Fla., after the passage of Hurricane Ian.

School districts that closed for at least a day because of Hurricane Ian will have flexibility related to reporting enrollment, the state Department of Education said Wednesday. Districts periodically report to the state enrollment numbers and information such as how many classrooms are open, a requirement that can affect funding.


Districts originally were slated to report counts between Sept. 30 and Oct. 14. But because the hurricane made landfall in Southwest Florida on Sept. 28, causing many districts to close and people to evacuate, the Department of Education is allowing the districts to report enrollment from the 11 school days that preceded the storm.

The department said in a news release that it is trying to avoid having school funding reflect a “temporary disruption” to students’ attendance.

“These reports determine mid-year funding adjustments based on actual students compared to projected students, and this flexibility ensures that district leaders do not experience any unnecessary anxiety due to the complications that counting students can cause during a period of response and recovery,” the news release said.

Education Commissioner Manny Diaz Jr. said in a statement that allowing schools to report attendance from before the hurricane “will ensure districts are not negatively impacted any further.”
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The News Service of Florida