Out Of County Students
As the possibility of the school building program becomes a reality, there are those who for various reasons are just opposed to the idea of new schools. Mostly it seems the main point of opposition is the tax increase required to fund the building program. Increasingly, there has been more and more misinformation, distortions and sometimes just out right lying to prove the anti position.
One of the issues that seems to keep coming up is the matter of out of county students attending Loudon County schools. Some try to make the argument that Loudon County is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on these out of county students. So let's look at the facts.
The Loudon County School System receives funding from basically three sources. Local, State and Federal. For the current school year that equates to:
Loudon County 44.9% = $3,541.00 per pupil
State 45.5% = $3,589.00 per pupil
Federal 9.6% = $757.00 per pupil
For total funding per pupil of $7,887.00 for the 2010 school year.
Our records for the current school year show that there are 272 out of county students in the system. 69 employee out of county students, 203 non employee out of county students. This number was much higher before the school board adopted a policy to take no more out of county students.
Just for the sake of argument using the logic and math used by those who have railed against the out of county question, if we eliminated every out of county student at once, we could potentially save $963,152.00 in local funding. In addition we would lose $1,182,112.00 in state and federal funding due to the decreased pupil enrollment. $976,208.00 and $205,904.00 respectively.
That would be an overall loss of revenue to the school system of $218,960.00
You might think that that loss of revenue would be offset by a reduction of teachers since there would be fewer students. Unfortunately, since these out of county students are not located in just one school but are scattered throughout the school system, a school by school survey shows this would not be the case. The elimination of one or two or three students per grade level per school would only allow for the reduction in teachers by about two. That's due mostly to the fact that the state sets the teacher/student ratio.
Philosophically I agree that there should be no out of county students in our school system and I made a motion to that effect which died for lack of a second. But the school board has now adopted a policy that will in a relatively short time eliminate all out of county students through attrition.
The real reality is that if all out of county students were eliminated the schools would immediately loose more than a million dollars in state and federal funding with very little offset savings.
The simple assertion that out of county students cost county tax payers over eight hundred thousand dollars a year just doesn't hold up when the facts of the issue are applied.
Hopefully this will clear up some of the confusion and misinformation that's out there.