From the “all news is bad news” category, this morning WRAL .com reported that slowing student growth could cost Wake County Public Schools money. According to the article, since 2011, WCPSS’ portion of students in down 2 percent to charter, private and home schools. Since student population is not expected to meet original enrollment estimates, school officials are concerned that county and state funding might decline as well.
This is only a negative if you think money should be tied to enrollment as the numbers increase, but not when the numbers decrease.
What’s not stated is that lower enrollments naturally lead to lower budgets and the need for fewer staff. It’s also not stated that LEAs may receive money to help cushion the fluctuations in ADM enrollment (see page 8 of Allotment Policy manual). .
Wake County lost about 1,000 students to charter schools in recent years. Unless WCPSS provides a better education that trend will continue.
Is this bad? No. It shows that WCPSS must be responsive to student concerns and that parents have options for their children. Competition is helping the public schools
Those are three reasons why school choice is good for individuals, schools and the community.