Originally created 08/29/98

County enrollment down slightly



Enrollment figures in Richmond County are down slightly from last year, but school officials say more students could enroll after Labor Day.

As of Friday, 35,892 students were enrolled, compared to 36,025 last year.

"We are very close to what we projected," said Gene Sullivan, deputy superintendent of Richmond County.

"We expected to have about 276 less students this year, partly due to lack of immigration into the county."

Next week, Mr. Sullivan said his office will add more teachers to elementary and kindergarten classes where there are more than 25 students per teacher.

Columbia County figures steadily have increased over the past five years.

As of Thursday, 18,196 students were enrolled, compared to 18,089 last year and 16,528 in 1994. Officials from Columbia County did not immediately return phone calls Friday.

Burke and Richmond counties, he said.

Enrollment continues today and the first session of classes begins Tuesday.

"Typically we have students who are 17, 18, 19 and 20 years old," Dr. Bush said. "We have a very small group of 40-, 45- and 50-year-olds."

Dr. Bush said his pupils still have to obtain the same number of classes, or units, as regular school.

"There are no shortcuts," Dr. Bush said.

Mr. Sullivan said most students return to Richmond County schools, but those who want to drop out usually do so in October or November.

"In Georgia, the dropout rate may be low but by the time they reach 25 years old, 90 percent go back and get some form of education," he said.