Rothsay school numbers presented [UPDATED]Published 4:21am Monday, May 6, 2013 Updated 6:23am Monday, May 6, 2013
The residents of the Rothsay School District have been receiving a lot of numbers in the mail from those who are pushing for a new school building largely on account of the increasing numbers of open enrolled students and are likely to receive more in the coming weeks.
There is more than one way to look at this information and l will be presenting it in the way that the taxpayers who would have to pay for the new building might want to see it.
All the numbers I am starting with are official maunders from either the school district or the Minnesota Department of Education.
The total cost of a student’s education is now covered by a combination of money from the district’s taxpayers and the State of Minnesota. Since each student in the school receives the same education whether he lives in the district or is an open enrollee means that the total cost of their education for the year should be the same.
Thirty eight percent of the student population is now open enrollees whose parents pay their taxes to other school districts than our own.
That is a significant proportion which may grow even larger in the future. In 2011 the total PK-12 General Fund Expenditures of the school district were $2,649,050.
The Department of Education calculated that the school had an average ADM or average daily student population of 220 students in that year. Dividing the $2,649,050 by this figure leaves one with the figure of $12,041.14 spent per student.
The total amount of money the state provided towards the education of the 100 open enrolled students in this school year was $570,116 which averages out to $5,701.16 per student. That does not even come close to the cost of 12041.14 per student in 2011.
Someone has to make up the difference and that person is the taxpayer in the local school district. The only way that each open enrolled student would not have to be subsidized by the local taxpayer would be if the total cost of his education could be lowered to the amount provided by the state, if state would fully fund the amount of his education or a combination of cost reductions and aid payment increases. That is not likely to happen.
These figures do not include the cost of a new school if the referendum would pass. The total of the bond and the interest comes to $33,180,000 to be paid over 30 years.
The interest alone is calculated at $13,780,000. The following calculations are pretty rough but close enough to make my point. Dividing the total bill by 30 of the yearly payment means that an additional $1,106,000 would be added to each years expenses.
The school’s figure was $1,190,000 which is the one I will use. The figure divided by the current student population of 260 would mean an additional $4,576.93 that the taxpayers would be contributing to the cost of each open enrolled student’s education since their parents pay their tax money elsewhere. A rough calculation is that the total cost to the taxpayers for each year of their education would then be that figure plus the difference of 12041-5701 which is $6,340. The total amount would then be $10,917.
Open enrollment may make sense if one is only thinking of the school but it falls flat on its face as a benefit to the taxpayers. Using the schools $3,569 figure of net benefit of each open enrolled student would mean it would take the equivalent of 333 of them to make the annual payment of $1,190,000.
There are people working hard on alternative solutions to our facility problems but there isn’t enough time between now and the May 16 vote for them to finish their work and properly present it to the public.
The interest rate isn’t likely to change much in the near future so I am encouraging you to not be stampeded into voting yes. Give these people time to finish their work so they can give voters a more realistic choice. Thank you for taking the time to read this.
Taxpayer in ISD 850