• WBST 92.1 FMMuncie
  • WBSB 89.5 FMAnderson
  • WBSW 90.9 FMMarion
  • WBSH 91.1 FMHagerstown / New Castle
Indiana Public Radio, a listener-supported service of Ball State University
Listen Live Online. Tap to open audio stream.

Muncie Schools Predicts Stabilized Enrollment After Decade Of Decline

By Stephanie Wiechmann, IPR News | Published on in Ball State, Education, Local News
MCS students pose with Ball State's Charlie Cardinal outside North View Elementary School. (File Photo: Muncie Community Schools on Facebook)

Friday is the day the state counts enrollment in all Hoosier schools – which informs how much state funding each district gets.  As IPR’s Stephanie Wiechmann reports, Muncie Community Schools is predicting stabilized enrollment this year, after more than a decade of deep decline.

Muncie Community Schools CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski says before Ball State University took responsibility for MCS in 2018, enrollment was falling steadily from a count of 7,200 students in 2009.

Now, as she told teachers at a Friday training day,“Since the partnership, we’ve maintained enrollment of about 5,000 students.  Now, this is based on pre-K-12.  You know today’s our big count day, and that counts just students in grades K-12.  Right now, I am being told that this will be our first year that we should be seeing an increase in enrollment.”

Read More: Ball State Delivers Long-Term Muncie Schools Plan To General Assembly

Also since 2018, the Indiana State Department of Education has tracked transfer students – those that live within the boundaries of a public school district, but attend private, charter, or other public schools with state funding that follows the child.

During the last school year, more than 2,500 such students in the Muncie district boundaries went elsewhere for education.  That number has stayed largely consistent since the state began tracking.

Kwiatkowski says in addition to keeping kids, MCS is also keeping teachers.  After three years of increased compensation, Muncie schools is retaining 83 percent of teachers, up from 67 percent from before the Ball State partnership when no raises were given.  Salary increases to retain teachers is a goal of a long-term plan for Muncie schools.

(Data: Muncie Community Schools)