LSR7+Insider Article

Demographics: Does RED = Bad?

In September 2019, the LSR7 BOE ratified a contract with Applied Economics for over

15K and today we hear about the results. Note in the pricing structure in the slider to the right, there are two optional line items with costs to be determined.

LSR7 school district supplied a reader with the following actual enrollment data which LSR7+Insider discussed in a previous post. ↓↓↓

Enrollment data provided by LSR7 School District

It should be noted that the enrollment data provided by LSR7 is slightly different in some instances than the enrollment data cited by Applied Economics in their report.

The bulk of the Applied Economics report, dated November 2019, is included in the slider below, with the report in its entirety available in the board packet here.

  • Figures 1, 2, and 3 of the report provided by Applied Economics appear to show a relatively flat enrollment growth, statistically speaking. Maps 2, 3, 4 & 5 appear to show that the areas in the middle of the city are losing enrollment.

  • Table 2 shows a significant reduction in single family building permits this year even with conservative projections for 4th quarter indicating a slowing in residential construction.

  • Figure 8 shows district-wide actual enrollment and projected enrollment through 2029/30. Table 8 provides a grade-level breakdown of same, without preschool numbers after 2008/09.

  • Section 5 breaks down enrollment and projections by school.

Looking at Tables 10 and 11 (pages 32 & 33 in the slider above), the red coloring appears to show that we are overcrowded at a few of the schools (the scale is not included on the tables). As an example, let's look at the three high schools. Their respective program capacities are listed here and depicted in the figure below.

  • LSHS Program Capacity- 2290 students

  • LSN Program Capacity- 2321 students

  • LSW Program Capacity- 2224 students

The highest projected enrollment at any of our high schools is 2216 (LSHS in 2029/30) and this is still lower than our program capacity in our smallest high school (LSW at 2224). In fact, it is over 100 students below the program capacity LSN 2321 and it is 74 below the program capacity of LSHS itself.

So, why use RED, a color typically reserved for emergency situations? Perhaps it is related to the district's public relations campaign to convince voters to keep their pocket books OPEN for a huge 224 million dollar bond issue.

Perhaps the board meeting tonight will provide answers for important questions such as:

Why does the district continue to push the community through HUGE decisions?

Bringing this back around to Applied Economics, the contract shows that there are options for additional years of evaluation.

  • Should the district continue to pay for these demographic updates?

  • How much has been spent in additional fees to date?

  • What might change in projections, and how would that affect capital expenditures decisions?

  • How does all of this account for future-ready schools; how many kids will be going to alternate campuses, like Summit Tech, or learning online?

If you were making the decisions, how would you spend the 224 million dollars?