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Rochester enrollment continues to grow

Student enrollment in Rochester Public Schools surged to 17,296 students, a jump of 265 students over last year, according to a first-day-of-school head count by officials.

That number will almost certain drop as officials clean up records and discover that some students have moved away. But the number is almost certainly good news, given that school funding is based on the number of students a district serves.

It was the third straight year that officials reported a hike in student enrollment. Last year was the first year that Rochester broke the 17,000-student threshold.

Larry Smith, the district's executive director of business and operations, was cautious, however, about what the student growth might mean for the district's finances. He noted that the district bases its budget on the Oct. 1 head count rather than that of first day of school. Districts are also required by statute to drop students from their rolls if they fail to show up for 10 days.

"We're still registering new kids coming in and cleaning up (the records of) students who are not here," he said.


At the same time, Smith said he anticipated that Rochester would get a financial boost from the windfall of students.

"I fully expect us to be up from last year," he said.

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