The North Sanpete School District's student population is 18 less than at this time last year - down from 2,416 to 2,398 - and reversing a history of increases of around 4 to 5 percent each year.

The decrease means the district will receive around $1 million less in state money than projected. And it also has implications for $5.5 million building program approved by the voters early this year.That program was undertaken mainly because of overcrowding and anticipated future needs for more classrooms.

In an attempt to adjust in part to severe overcrowding, the district this year moved some students around, particularly in the kindergarten and sixth grades.

Last year, for example, the North Sanpete Middle School in Moroni had 626 students in three grades and severe overcrowding. This year it has 493, with the dropoff occurring mainly in a transfer of sixth-graders to other schools.

Another indication that the growth pattern may be ending is found in kindergarten numbers: 146 this year as contrasted with last May's 150 graduating students.

The South Sanpete School District has had a similar enrollment situation this fall: fewer students than projected and lower totals than last year.