That's likely to mean a $692,000 drop in district revenue this school year, Jim Crawford, the assistant superintendent for fiscal and operations, told the school board Monday night.I wonder how much of the decline is simple demographics, and how much is related to the boom in online / homeschool technologies. (With several new housing developments soon to open on the west side, our days of declining enrollment may be coming to a close.)
"That's why enrollment is so important," he said.
However, the district's bottom line isn't likely to change much, Crawford said. That's because staff throughout Olympia schools spent less in the 2006-07 school year than previously estimated and because the drop in enrollment means the district won't need to spend as much as initially expected this year.
"It's encouraging to hear that we're in a little better shape despite the declining enrollment," Board President Rich Nafziger said.
However, school board member Bob Shirley said his perspective is tied to the cuts the board likely will need to make next year.
The funding crunch will be the school board's greatest challenge next year--and they'll have at least one guaranteed new school board member aboard. That's why this year's race is so important.
(For the record, the OEA endorses Frank Wilson and Carolyn Barclift.)