"Membership" is an often-used term referring to a counting methodology that can be generally defined as resident enrollment adjusted for full-time equivalency (FTE). In contrast, "attendance" is the number of pupils present for instruction on a given school day and "enrollment" is the number of pupils officially registered to attend class, whether such pupils are actually in attendance on that day or not. Note that attendance and enrollment can contain both resident and non-resident students.
Most Often Used in School Finance Computations
Membership (residents only) is the statistic most often used in school finance computations. Districts count membership at three distinct times during the school year:
- third Friday in September; and
- second Friday in January.
One of the more complex aspects of school finance is knowing which children can be counted as residents and which membership counts are used in what funding formulas.
Head Count and Membership Report
The Head Count and Membership Report displays the four most commonly-referenced types of student counts:
- September Adjusted Head Count;
- Current Year Membership;
- Revenue Limit Membership; and
- Aid Membership.
The information below provides specific details on how each is calculated and identifies which school finance formulas use which count.
See the Membership link for more information.
September Adjusted Head Count
Due to the various educational delivery opportunities available to Wisconsin K-12 students, a public school district may be educating both residents and non-residents within their classrooms. The SFS Membership application PI-1563 assists districts in identifying student membership (residents) through a process that begins with a head count of all the students in their seats and, after a series of questions, removes the non-resident students that cannot be counted and adds the resident students being educated elsewhere which can be counted.
The September Adjusted Head Count is the final result of this process using the third Friday in September data. The September Adjusted Head Count is not directly used in any formula but is provided here to show the number of district residents in the September count of the fiscal year selected.
The current-year average of membership on the third Friday in September and the second Friday in January, plus the prior summer FTE, foster/group home equivalents and FTE for non-public students attending part-time. Current-year membership is used in the Comparative Cost and Revenue Computations.
Revenue Limit Membership
An average of the district's most recent three September FTE membership counts. Districts are also allowed to add 40 percent of their FTE summer school membership to the September FTE membership before computing the three-year average. The Revenue Limit uses two three-year averages and the data reported here is from Line 6 of the district's Revenue Limit computation.
See the Revenue Limits link for more information on the Revenue Limit.
The previous year's average of membership on the third Friday in September and the second Friday in January, plus the second previous summer FTE, foster/group home equivalents and FTE for non-public students attending part-time. Prior-year membership is used in the General Aid calculation (Equalization, Special Adjustment, Integration and Intragration Aids). Aid membership used in the 2014-15 fiscal year is 2013-14 data.
See the Aid Information link for more information on General Aids.