Sunday, September 09, 2007

Student enrollment down, costs up

Obviously, the fewer students you have in a school district, the more money you need to spend.

At least, this is the conclusion likely to be drawn by residents of the Brandywine School District.

I just happened to pick up the local throwaway, which I never read because it smells. I don't mean it stinks. It actually smells, because the lousy paper they use is encapsulated in some sort of cellophane wrapper, and gives off a horrible whiff when the covering is removed. I generally throw it away unopened for this reason. But this headline captured my attention:

District Begins examining which schools to close

The article concludes that the school district has a capacity for 13,084 students and currently has an enrollment of 10,364. So, you might ask, why do they need more money? If you've ever had anything to do with local government, you know this is the wrong question to ask. Obviously platoons of administrators are needed to deal with this downturn in the student population.

Now as a former New Jersey resident, I consider Delaware taxes a mere pinprick, a tiny obstacle in the path of life. My total property tax levy is about $2,400 a year. If it goes up 20 percent, I hardly notice, after paying more than $9,000 a year in New Jersey. I just don't understand how they do the math. Shouldn't fewer students translate into less money? Fewer administrators?

I realize that school districts have already cut all the frills, like United States history or English literature, and are concentrating on teaching the students how to have self-esteem and honor cultural diversity. I know music and art have gone by the wayside, to the point where the average high school graduate does not know who Rembrandt was and considers Elton John a classical musician. I know that these know-nothing high school graduates are abandoning the study of engineering and biology, and majoring in communications or leadership, whatever these are. I know we are importing doctors and chemists from India--a third-world country--because our students can't master these skills. What I don't know is:

Why does it cost more every year?

2 comments:

airforcewife said...

Ahhh, yes. The cost of education.

Although we can no longer afford Catholic School for our kids, the price is still half to 1/3 that of what public schools are paying per child.

Perhaps public school admin needs to be forced to attend $$ seminars taught by nuns.

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