Low enrollment in Hernando triggers temporary hiring freeze
BROOKSVILLE — The Hernando County School District has implemented a temporary hiring freeze after initial enrollment numbers fell below staff projections.
The freeze, which went into effect late last week, is expected to last through the Sept. 17, said superintendent Lori Romano. The district will reevaluate at that point and determine whether they can lift the freeze.
“We needed to be able to put a hiring freeze in place until we could stabilize the enrollment,” she said.
She said the temporary hiring freeze was common, especially in districts that aren’t growing.
There were roughly 300 fewer students in Hernando classrooms as of Friday than there were a year ago at that point, according to the 10-day student head count.
The district’s kindergarten through 12-grade enrollment dropped from last year’s total of 21,820 to 21,529. It also fell 143 students below staff projections.
The district is down more than 900 students compared to 2010.
While the head count used for state funding and for class-size determinations comes in October, the 10th-day count is important internally. The district uses the enrollment numbers to start adjusting class sizes, moving teachers within schools or among schools, in order to keep classes from being oversized or too small.
The biggest differences in projected enrollment came at the elementary and K-8 schools. Combined, the district’s 13 schools fell 303 students below their projected target.