Enrollment figure snafu wasn’t good for perception
News last week that enrollment projections in Eudora fell off the mark should not be the reason for widespread panic, but it should cause school district officials to take a closer look at how these projections are calculated.
On the surface, coming up 33 students short on enrollment projections is not a big deal until you factor in the money budgeted for those students means a shortfall of about $220,000 this year.
For a small school district, that represents quite a loss.
The school district will overcome it. Of this we have no doubt. There are strong educators running the school district and they will find a way to incur this shortage of state funding with as little hardship as possible to existing programs.
However, we would hope that there is a lesson to be learned from this episode.
Perhaps when making these projections, it is best to err on the side of conservatism. Projections, as we are learning, are an inexact science. Nobody can figure out just what happened. Officials can guess that the closing of Communicolor had some impact or that there are more students being home schooled than originally thought.
However, nobody knows for sure.
That's why great care is needed. The school district is embarking on an important year in its history. The decisions made in the next 12 months will go a long way in determining the future of this school district..
The community will play a large role in these decisions and it needs to see that the leadership of this school district is competent and capable. If a bond issue is ever going to be passed to build a new school in Eudora, the community is going to have to trust that a new school is absolutely necessary.
That said, there is nothing positive about a $220,000 budget shortage.
Perception after all is reality.