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The enrollment report for Maryvale schools features a new category: students attending out-of-district charter schools.

A report submitted to the School Board this week shows five students -- out of a total enrollment of 2,569 -- signed on to charter schools at the beginning of the school year.

Assistant Superintendent Robert Tauriello said it is a number worth tracking, because each student represents $7,986 the district must pay to another school.

"The money follows the kids, and when you multiply that by five students it becomes significant," Tauriello said. "And sometimes we don't even know the kids live in our district until we get the bill."

Such was the case of three students who moved into the district, never registered to attend Maryvale schools but enrolled in charter schools. The three students subsequently moved out of the district, leaving the district with two students currently enrolled at charter schools, Tauriello said.

Tauriello, who said the district would be reimbursed for any payment made after the students moved from the district, said the arrangement makes it difficult to track enrollment and finances.

Adding to the challenge, he said, is the state formula for how much the district pays for charter tuition: Districts are charged the higher cost of educating a secondary student instead of the lower cost of education an elementary pupil.

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