Yesterday Wake School administrators and planning officials told members of the Wake County Board of Education that the next decade is likely to bring 60,000 new students to the Wake County School System. This morning’s News & Observer contains a rather lengthy article on the subject. However, I am intrugued by what is missing from the discussion: the assumptions used in the estimates.
A little math reveals 60,000 new students is a 42 percent increase in students. In my view, a 4.2 percent annual growth in student enrollment over the next ten years is an awfully ambitious projection that can only derive from equally rosey economic forecasts.
It was only two years ago Wake school planners seriously overestimated student enrollment and received millions in state aid for students that never enrolled. Before grappling with another billion dollar school bond lets hope the asssumptions and estimates are out in the open and tethered to reality.