26 April 2006

The Incredible Shrinking School District

A piece from the superintendent's letter to staff today (emphasis added):

"Based upon a demographic study completed in 2000, our School District will continue to decline in student enrollment for the foreseeable future. Since 1999 we have lost 611 FTE (635 headcount) students and according to the last study, we could lose approximately one thousand additional students between now and 2010. Several years ago we planned to update the demographic survey in 2006; the study is ongoing and the results will be available not later than this summer. School districts in our state and across the nation are experiencing the same enrollment decline. The decline is attributed to the drop in the national birthrate. What we know right now is that when we take into account the loss of state revenue due to declining enrollment, our District will have lost nearly $7.6 M between 1999 and 2010."

Holy Katzenjammer kids. One thousand students in the next four years?

Meanwhile, fuel costs rise for buses. Our infrastructure is rapidly aging and technology becoming more antiquated each day. There are ever more mandates from the state and feds for us to fulfill.

The supe filled four pages with budgetary considerations. The bottom line is that we have to significantly tighten our belts...which means that jobs and programs are going to go. (Three elementary art positions were cut last week.) I think that this is his "pre-emptive strike" at getting information out before cuts are made this year. We've all been given fair warning.

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