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School enrollment & accounting gimmicks
Subj:      [Mpls] School enrollment & accounting gimmicks)
Date:     9/3/2004 11:10:10 AM Central Daylight Time
From:     Socialist2001@cs.com
To:     sbrandt@startribune.com, mpls@mnforum.org

So, according to Strib education beat writer Steve Brandt, there were 1600 fewer actual students than budgeted students enrolled in the district's schools in the fall of 2003. (Steve's clarification regarding the district's accounting methods are pasted below my closing) How many actual teacher positions were actually filled by the end of December 2003? Why doesn't the district tell us how many teacher jobs were actually eliminated after the end of the 2003-2004 school year?

There were fewer actual teacher jobs filled by the end of 2003 than there were budgeted teacher jobs prior to the start of the 2003-2004 school year. The district usually cuts teacher positions where it can after the start of school if enrollment is significantly below projected levels, such as by combining students from 3 under-enrolled classes into two fully enrolled or slightly over-enrolled classes. And there was a 4.5 million dollar emergency budget cut in December 2003, which resulted in the elimination of some teacher positions and some mid-year teacher layoffs.

Right now, and not a few weeks from now, the district should be able to report how many students are actually enrolled and who showed up for school on September 1. The district's funding is based on how many students show up for a head count day in October.

The administration and board are shutting the public out of the decision-making process by withholding information. And the board is making decisions which cannot be justified by the data, which is being concealed from the public. (I have not gotten any response from the district to recent requests for data).

-Doug Mann, King Field
Mann for School Board
www.educationright.com

In a message dated 9/2/2004 11:45:47 AM Central Daylight Time,
sbrandt@startribune.com writes:

<< The district is estimating that this year's enrollment will be down 3,000 from the number of kids enrolled last year.  Doug asks if that's good news, considering that this year's budget projects 4,600 fewer students than last year's budget.  It's easy to confuse these two numbers.  One compares before-the-fact budget estimates--that's the 4,600 number.  The other compares this year's budgeted enrollment estimate with the number of kids who actually showed up--that's the 3,000 number.  The number of kids who showed up last year was 1,600 fewer than budgeted last year.  So this fall's budgeted enrollment is down 3,000 from the number of kids counted last year, but down 4,600 from the number budgeted last year.  We'll know in a few weeks the size of this year's actual enrollment.
Steve Brandt
 Star Tribune >>