News

New state task force sets out to combat declining student enrollment rates

Group aims to help districts offset challenges

Students in an audio production class work on assignments at Woodside High School in Woodside on Feb. 1, 2022. Photo by Magali Gauthier.

A task force that will help combat declining student enrollment rates throughout California was announced Thursday by Tony Thurmond, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The task force's goal is to tackle the problems surrounding dropping enrollment by offering recommendations and technical assistance to districts to help offset challenges being faced.

The co-chairs will be Public Policy Institute of California Vice President Lande Ajose, California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas, Association of California School Administrators Executive Director Edgar Zazueta and California Association of School Business Officials CEO Tatiana Davenport.

"I am committed to supporting the needs of all our schools and school districts and while each school and community has its own unique history and conditions, declining enrollment is something that we are facing together," Thurmond said in a press release.

Thurmond and the co-chairs will focus on data analysis to better understand trends related to the enrollment decline which includes seeing which districts students are leaving from and where they are going.

Help sustain the local news you depend on.

Your contribution matters. Become a member today.

Join

The task force also plans to investigate birth rates, immigration status and housing costs in the area, specifically urban areas that have previously influenced population fluctuations.

"For many communities, this is not a new challenge, but after two years of a pandemic, the impacts feel amplified and the future seems daunting," Thurmond said.

Nationwide data from the California Department of Education indicated that decreases in student enrollment have affected public schools throughout the nation, not just in the state.

According to a press release from the California Department of Education, California is a control state, meaning that local communities have a bigger role in shaping local spending and program decisions.

Some legislation Thurmond is pursuing includes AB 1614, which would increase the base of funding schools received through the Local Control Funding Formula, as well as SB 830, which would provide an increase in funding for schools based on their enrollment as opposed to their attendance numbers.

These bills are believed to be able to assist districts in accessing immediate resources to help with enrollment issues, according to the press release.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Stay informed

Get daily headlines sent straight to your inbox in our Express newsletter.

Follow Palo Alto Online and the Palo Alto Weekly on Twitter @paloaltoweekly, Facebook and on Instagram @paloaltoonline for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

Your support is vital to us continuing to bring you education news. Become a member today.

New state task force sets out to combat declining student enrollment rates

Group aims to help districts offset challenges

by Victoria Franco / Bay City News Service

Uploaded: Fri, Apr 22, 2022, 9:36 am

A task force that will help combat declining student enrollment rates throughout California was announced Thursday by Tony Thurmond, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The task force's goal is to tackle the problems surrounding dropping enrollment by offering recommendations and technical assistance to districts to help offset challenges being faced.

The co-chairs will be Public Policy Institute of California Vice President Lande Ajose, California Federation of Teachers President Jeff Freitas, Association of California School Administrators Executive Director Edgar Zazueta and California Association of School Business Officials CEO Tatiana Davenport.

"I am committed to supporting the needs of all our schools and school districts and while each school and community has its own unique history and conditions, declining enrollment is something that we are facing together," Thurmond said in a press release.

Thurmond and the co-chairs will focus on data analysis to better understand trends related to the enrollment decline which includes seeing which districts students are leaving from and where they are going.

The task force also plans to investigate birth rates, immigration status and housing costs in the area, specifically urban areas that have previously influenced population fluctuations.

"For many communities, this is not a new challenge, but after two years of a pandemic, the impacts feel amplified and the future seems daunting," Thurmond said.

Nationwide data from the California Department of Education indicated that decreases in student enrollment have affected public schools throughout the nation, not just in the state.

According to a press release from the California Department of Education, California is a control state, meaning that local communities have a bigger role in shaping local spending and program decisions.

Some legislation Thurmond is pursuing includes AB 1614, which would increase the base of funding schools received through the Local Control Funding Formula, as well as SB 830, which would provide an increase in funding for schools based on their enrollment as opposed to their attendance numbers.

These bills are believed to be able to assist districts in accessing immediate resources to help with enrollment issues, according to the press release.

Comments

Anonymous
Registered user
Duveneck/St. Francis
on Apr 22, 2022 at 11:36 am
Anonymous, Duveneck/St. Francis
Registered user
on Apr 22, 2022 at 11:36 am

I get it: spend more of our taxpayer dollars for another state commission. Will people draw a per diem for “serving” on this thing?
I get the goal is to divert more of our tax dollars to low achieving districts.
Oakland school district has had trouble for four decades despite huge funding, numerous leaders and even prior state takeover. More of our money will not solve this.
After Covid era state dollars awarded to help school districts, news reported state auditor said few districts had accounted for the lavish dollars! Little follow up, naturally.
This will likely be more of the same.
Little accountability. A LOT of our money.
I predicted fleeing to private education from CA public schools years ago, even on this forum (!) - and for multitude of reasons. I was not educated in private schools, by the way. But do see logic in them now - and for leaving this state.
There is also a concerted effort by state bureaucrats to install unnecessary, incorrect and offensive ethnics studies and to dumb down Mathematics education in CA public schools in recent years. Syndicated columns have discussed ethnic studies controversy - this isn’t just my little opinion.
How about sticking to a coherent, straightforward curriculum of reading, writing, Mathematics, removing politically biased content which aims to mold young minds for political reasons. Yes, it IS possible to teach History, Social Studies without adding ridiculous concocted emphasis on what should be minor points. This country was not founded in racism.
They got rid of the easy CAHSEE high school exit exam for political reasons, to cater to low achievers. Great, now there is NO basic bar to demonstrate worthiness to hold a California high school diploma! One could take it three times and get free tutoring over summer fand students still couldn’t pad this easy test! So they should have been failed out of high school. This is a FACT.
- now there is social promotion.
Getting rid of standardized tests creates murkiness and removes objectivity. So incompetence can be covered up. When it refers to UC admissions, this becomes a big deal to millions.


Mondoman
Registered user
Green Acres
on Apr 22, 2022 at 3:11 pm
Mondoman, Green Acres
Registered user
on Apr 22, 2022 at 3:11 pm

Sadly Anon seems to be right on this. Another tidbit in this story is that attendance seems to be a problem in certain districts. Rather than just ignoring it and handing over the money anyway, maybe this commission should look into the causes of and solutions for absenteeism.


Local parent
Registered user
another community
on Apr 22, 2022 at 6:20 pm
Local parent, another community
Registered user
on Apr 22, 2022 at 6:20 pm

Declining enrollment has been studied in other areas and reported on in NYT, among other places.

Older teens had to work and care for siblings during the pandemic, and now don't want to go back.

The wealthy transferred their kids to privates if the could to get in-person education, since remote was such a disaster for many kids.

The parents delayed kinder or TK to wait for classrooms to return to normal.

The borders were actually closed for almost 2 years to prevent covid transmission, so far fewer immigrant kids from around the world.

Republicans & Fox News trashed the value of college and therefore everyone, leading to fewer people valuing education.

There - don't pay for a commission or study.


S. Underwood
Registered user
Crescent Park
on Apr 26, 2022 at 4:11 pm
S. Underwood, Crescent Park
Registered user
on Apr 26, 2022 at 4:11 pm

We should continually remind teachers that if it weren't for all the crazy bureaucratic bloat, we are currently spending around $400k per year per classroom of 25 kids. [Those per year numbers don't include capital expenses either, so things like the building and room are 'free' in that framing.] Most teachers find that fact both surprising and jarring, and wonder where the heck the money went... cause it's certainly not getting to them or their classroom needs.

We'd be halfway toward rectifying our shockingly poor outcomes (which pre-date Covid) if we spent our money thinking first about parents, teachers, and kids. Committees, politics, admins upon asst admins, superintendents upon asst superintendents in their 31 flavors, layers of bureaucracy passing funds up and down and around, county offices, state and regional curriculum committees ... decades of proven ineffectiveness...


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Post a comment

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.