Tomorrow marks the start of another school year as the young people join the adults. The maintenance and custodial staff have done a wonderful job preparing the buildings and grounds that will once again become a focus for learning. For me it also brings back the start of school anxiety related to one of the most important numbers of the year; first week enrollment count. The big unknown is whether we will meet the budget enrollment projections.
Since the majority of our budget is driven by student enrollment this is an important number. We are conservative in our estimates because over estimating can cause short and long term budget problems. In the budget snip below you can see that we are estimating about one hundred more students than we did in the previous year budget.
While I am anxious about reaching this number, I am also very concerned that we may be on the front end of an increase in enrollment growth over what we have experienced in the last few years. We saw different enrollment patterns last year and with the increase in housing starts things may change, causing us even greater difficulties with housing students in quality learning environments. We are full and increased growth is not something we need at this time. Class size increases, closing enrollment in elementary schools, and over crowding will be a part of our short term future.
I am especially interested in seeing what the kindergarten enrollment will be as preliminary numbers are high. I'll share more when the counts are in.