Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Still Arguing about School Funding?

Is this discussion over enrollment numbers and school funding still happening where you are?

Because apparently, it's still an issue for Nathan Hale High.  Hale parents are being notified, via a Hale parent group, that the district is underestimating their enrollment (by less than 20 students) and it will reduce their funding.  They say they have had a waitlist for years and don't understand why this is happening. 

Unfortunately, this issue is pitting school against school as the notification goes on to say that the district is not moving their waitlist because some of the students on the list would be from the Roosevelt High School area and Roosevelt would then lose students.  I don't follow this line of thinking because it presumes that Roosevelt is lobbying for Hale's list not to move.  Are schools really looking over their shoulders at other schools?  Could be.

But if the district is not moving waitlists (and looking to see if a school has had a waitlist for several years), that is troubling.  If true, I suspect the district is trying to hold the purse strings as tightly as possible in order to not have to spend money.  If their gamble is wrong (and several schools seem certain it is), I'm certain we'll hear about it. 

The district has said they didn't RIF anyone but I'm not sure that's valid if they don't have the same staffing standards as they did previously.


Rotten said...

A teacher and the principal at our NW elementary school told us that they have strong reason to believe the district intentionally under projected next year by about 15%. A few positions will be cut due to this. The principal made a crack about the great staff picks that will be available in August. I said, hopefully, they don't make you wait until October counts come out, I think he threw up a little in his mouth. Maybe this is how they pay for the new central administrators.

kellie said...

The budget allocations for enrollment were over by about 300 students last year so this resulted in about $2 Million in less than expected funds for enrollment and the need to change headcount at several schools last year in October.

As such, I think there is tremendous pressure to err on the low side of enrollment. There are quite a few schools that have some pretty big gaps in the actual June enrollment vs the budget enrollment. That is one of the issues that has been fueling the whole north end middle school debate. At the moment both Whitman and JAMS have significantly more enrolled students for 2014 than budgeted students for 2014.

There are a handful of elementary schools that are also in that position.

Anonymous said...

If Nathan Hale is supposed to be under enrolled, then why the portable? Obviously if we are under 1100 we don't need a portable.