To the Editor:
There was much discussion at the Redding Board of Finance meetings this week about declining enrollment and whether the town has experienced educational savings as a result of that declining enrollment. The answer is simple: We have. We’ve actually cut more than one would expect based on declining enrollment.
The fact is, when accounting for inflation, the taxpayers of Redding have experienced a savings from 2010 to today of approximately $3.5 million, or a little more than 17%. When you factor in and control for the fact that special education enrollment and costs have been rising faster than inflation, as have a number of other line items, that number is probably closer to $5 million.
From 2010 to today, our enrollment has declined by about 325 students.
If you assume 20 students per class, per teacher, that’s a decline of about 16 teachers.
Using a reasonable cost of $60,000 per teacher, you would expect a savings of about $960,000. In reality, when adjusted for inflation, Redding saved somewhere between $3.5 and $5.0 million.
We’ve seen the savings. Declining enrollment has stopped and is going to start going up again. It’s time to stop the cuts and support our schools before it’s too late.
Redding Board of Education