ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Florida school districts, including Orange County, are working to locate students who did not register for online or in-person options this year.
Orange County Public School enrollment is down 18,000 students below the 209,000 students projected in July, Superintendent Barbara Jenkins said Friday in a video update to OCPS families.
“Principals, teachers, social workers and staff are diligently pursuing the students we were expecting. I want to encourage parents, guardians, family members who are aware of a change in location of one of our students to reach out to their school,” Jenkins said.
Jenkins also addresses concerns about possible layoffs due to low enrollment. School districts receive funding based on the number of students enrolled.
The superintendent assured school staff the OCPS is not laying off employees due to the enrollment shortfall this semester.
“I also want to ensure our entire community that OCPS is not on the brink of laying off large numbers of employees,” Jenkins said.
Emergency funding will help prevent any layoffs this semester because funding is based on the July projections submitted to the state, according to the superintendent.
“Funding shortfalls may have an impact on school districts in the future, perhaps after the New Year, but currently there will be no cuts,” she said.
Orange County Public Schools, the region’s largest school district, has 40 schools and/or work sites connected to a total of 54 COVID-19 cases. Jenkins said the school district plans to release updated information sometime on Friday. OCPS will release COVID-19 numbers every Tuesday and Friday.