Superintendent Patterson: No School Closing Announcement Elementary Enrollment Up By 500 Kids
At tonight’s Board of Education meeting, our Superintendent Jeff Patterson announced that he has been refining the budget cuts he proposed several months ago based on new information.
One cut that’s missing is the $400,000 savings from the closing of an elementary school. Mr. Patterson had previously indicated that an announcement would be made in August regarding which elementary school would close in the 2013-2014 school year, after he looked closely this summer at all the factors involved in the choosing which school to close.
The announcement instead is that the District might not be closing a school at all. According to recent enrollment figures, the enrollment in Lakewood’s public elementary schools is up! By five hundred kids!
A further examination of live birth records in Lakewood indicates that the trend is continuing. Lakewood has a lot of babies and if our District continues to excel, at the crucial time when parents decide to make a serious commitment, Lakewood city schools will be in a good position to receive them.
In terms of the Ohio School Facilities Commission’s plan to someday assist in the rebuilding of our remaining elementary schools, and in finishing Lakewood High School(the State of Ohio’s contribution at their last reporting coming in at 23% of the cost with Lakewood taxpayers contributing 77%)—this change in enrollment will necessitate a re-evaluation of Lakewood’s student population.
Whereas at last evaluation, Lakewood only “qualified” for six schools, this time around, we may very well rate seven elementary schools. The State did not require the closing of any elementary schools the last time around. Their position at the time was that they would only contribute their less-than-one-third portion of the building costs of two of our remaining three unrenovated schools.
With this increase in our student population, we may now qualify for 23 percent of the rebuild/renovation costs of the third school.
This is great news for Lakewood and great news for our School District: families are choosing to move to Lakewood/stay in Lakewood and are committing to their children’s future in our great schools.