The 727 figure includes 10 students playing on a baseball trip in Indiana, but whom school officials know will be in the school at the end of the tournament. Eight high school students also are on the team.
"We've got to take care of our own first," Johnson said. "For the ones who live here, it is a right (to attend Mercer County schools,) but for the others, it's a privilege."
Some parents taking drastic measures
Some parents have taken what may seem to be drastic measures to be sure their children will be able to enroll in the Mercer County system. At least one family has moved into the county district. Another family has given custody rights of a child to a relative who lives in the county school district.
Other families are faced with having one child from out of the district who cannot attend Mercer County schools while his sibling is allowed to stay.
Johnson explains that one child's class or school my be overcrowded while the other child's class is not overcrowded. Grades one, three, five, six, seven, nine and 11 are full throughout the system.
The Mercer schools have another situation that makes it difficult for out-of-district children. Harrodsburg and Mercer County have a contract in which each district will take up to 105 students from the other.
If the number of students goes over 105, and the state refuses to pay the adopted school system for the attendance of an additional student, it is likely the student will have to return to his home county.
"We can't afford to educate them without state funding," Johnson said.
Some other students may get special consideration. "We tend not to transfer special-needs children, especially severely handicapped students," Johnson said.
"If we have a program for a Harrodsburg or Burgin student that their home district does not have, we try to work that out for them."