Thursday, June 21, 2007

Elmbrook to Dump Open Enrollment and Chapter 220?

Here's an interesting item.

Debate about the impact of open enrollment and Chapter 220 students on the need to revamp Brookfield Central and East high schools dominated a referendum steering team meeting Wednesday, with some members proposing the district stop accepting non-resident students.

Three members of that Committee agree that "OE" and Chapter 220 students are a significant factor in the 'new high-schools' referendum consideration.

In other words, maybe Elmbrook would not have to spend $100++million if those students disappeared from the system.

No surprise--there are 742 OE and Chapter 220 students in the system at this time. However, there is no breakdown of "high school" vs. "grade- or middle-school" numbers provided in the article.

Superintendent Matt Gibson said he had no problem with - and actually recommended - that the steering team develop a referendum that would size the two high schools for resident students only.

"There still may be space on the margins for (non-resident students)," Gibson said, but the district shouldn't construct buildings for open enrollment and Chapter 220 students.

Administrators developed what the impact would be if theoretically the district no longer had any of those 742 students. They said the net impact would be a financial loss of $552,846 to the annual budget.

That figure assumes that the district would raise property taxes by $2.98 million to cover the loss of $2.98 million in state aid for Chapter 220.

Removing all non-resident students would save a total of $2,031,314 that would include cutting as many as 23 teachers districtwide, including up to 10 at the high schools. But the district would lose $2,584,160 in open enrollment revenue, resulting in the $552,846 net loss.

Assistant superintendent for finance Bob Borch said the district would tax to the maximum amount allowed under state revenue caps because annual expenses are higher than the cap, causing budget cuts.

By the figures given above, the District actually makes a profit on OE students. There's no profit-and-loss calculation given for Chapter 220 students, but the District takes in $9,933.00/Chapter 220 student from the State.

No final decision has been made.

No comments: