10-year projection predicts shrinking enrollment

By From page A1 | April 28, 2014

Utilizing a geographic information system program and the analysis of databases of information about student enrollment records, birth rates for the past 10 years, projected new housing and school site facilities, a study projects student enrollment in the El Dorado High School District to drop by 4.75 percent over the next 10 years.

The study, by SchoolWorks, Inc., was presented to the EDUHSD Board of Trustees at the March 25 meeting. It projected a slow overall drop in enrollment for the entire district over the next 10 years and then broke down the data by school. The biggest drop in enrollment is shown for the 2014-2015 school year with a 90 student decrease, mainly in twelfth grade students.

EDHS shows a drop in enrollment for the next five years and then a very slight increase;  Oak Ridge shows a slight increase in enrollment for  six years and then a decline for the next four;  Ponderosa is projected to decline in enrollment for the next 10 years , while Union Mine is projected to be stable for the next six years and then begin to grow.

The reason for the drop in the 2014-2015 enrollment is twofold, according to EDUHSD Associate Superintendent of Business Services, Baldev Johal. The current senior high class is larger than average by almost 70 students, while the incoming freshman class is approximately 20 students less than the current freshman class.

District student enrollment in EDUHSD has been declining since 2006. Due to the recent economic challenges, more people are moving out of the school district than are moving in and despite an assumption of the construction of 3,099 new planned units over the next six years, EDUHSD is below the state average for the yield rate of new students.

The Oak Ridge High School area is projected to reach build-out saturation towards the end of the 10-year projection period, while development in the Union Mine area is projected to increase as projects south of Highway 50 begin to get underway.

A Facility Master Plan, also prepared by SchoolWorks, Inc. covering the district facility needs for the next 10 years was given an in-depth review by the EDUHSD Board of Trustees at the same March 25 meeting. The Facility Master Plan was developed using the projected enrollment figures and participation from district administrators, school site representative and community members.

With declining enrollment, there are no  new classrooms needed for the next 10 years. The four comprehensive high schools in the district have 73 portables which supplement the permanent structures. With the exception of replacing aging portables, there are no district growth needs, but improvements for modernization and access for people with disabilities, upgrades for fire, safety, electrical, plumbing, heating and air conditioning, and roof replacements are projected needs with an estimated cost of $47.3 million.

Revenue to pay for facility needs comes from developer fees and Community Facilities District special taxes. EDHUSD’s current annual revenue from the CFD is $1.9 million.

Other funding sources are General Obligation Bonds like Measure Q which was passed by voters in  2008, and the State School Facilities Program in which EDUHSD may be eligible for Career Technical Education funds and state modernization funding where the state funds 60 percent and the district funds 40 percent of a modernization project.

Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or [email protected] Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.


Wendy Schultz

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