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Archive for Thursday, November 8, 2012

Lawrence school board may seek new enrollment projections

November 8, 2012

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The Lawrence Board of Education will be asked to approve another contract with a consulting firm to get updated projections for enrollment in local schools.

The board meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the district administrative office, 110 McDonald Dr.

The proposed contract with RSP & Associates, Inc., would not exceed $27,500, but other details of the contract are not being released because they have been deemed proprietary and confidential. The Kansas Open Records Act allows government entities to withhold proprietary information.

The school district has contracted with RSP in the past, including last year when the firm’s report helped persuade district officials to scrap plans for closing or consolidating six elementary schools in east and central Lawrence.

RSP had projected that enrollment at those schools would grow over the next five years at more than twice the rate of other schools in the district. However, this year’s enrollment didn’t confirm that pattern, at least in the first year of the five-year projections.

RSP, based in Johnson County, specializes in demographic analysis for school districts. The information is used to plan for future staffing needs, attendance boundaries, facility use and other factors influenced by enrollment trends. The firm has worked previously for several school districts in Kansas, Missouri and Iowa, according to information on the firm’s website.

The board will also receive an update on the district’s budget for the current year, based on the headcount taken Sept. 20.

School district budgets are based on a formula tied to enrollment. When the district adopted its budget in August, the numbers were based on expected enrollment for the coming year. The Sept. 20 headcount is used to calculate the actual amount sent to the district from the state. But even that number will be audited in the spring, which could result in the budget being adjusted again.

School districts in Kansas often don’t know their official, “final” budget until close to the end of the fiscal year.

According to the Kansas State Department of Education, Lawrence’s preliminary budget for this year includes $66.5 million in base state aid and about $23.3 million in supplemental funding through the district’s local option budget.

The budget also includes money for transportation, special education, bond and interest payments and a variety of other functions, adding up to a total budget of $141.2 million.

The budget adopted in August was based on expected enrollment of 9,815 full-time equivalent students. The Sept. 20 headcount, however, showed actual enrollment at 9,828.9 full-time equivalent students, an increase of 13.9 students. That’s not enough to make a substantial difference in the overall budget, but it does mean the district may have slightly more money to work with this year than expected.

In other business, the board will:

• consider he purchase of “Math Expressions” materials for grades K-5 in the amount of $156,425.

• receive an update on pre-bond planning activity.

• consider refinancing a portion of outstanding bonds that were issued in 2006.

Comments

SouthWestKs 1 year, 5 months ago

I see your school is doing fine this year.. $141.2 million & 9829 students equals $14,365.65 per student.. I think that is above the state average.. Stay warm & enjoy the nice day..

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

Wait, we have to do it again and it's by the same people? I was only half joking before when I said the fix was in the first estimate so they would not close schools, more truth to it then I thought.

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cheeseburger 1 year, 5 months ago

If RSP is to do the work again, it should be at a substantially discounted rate since they botched the previous report. Otherwise, utilize a different company whose work is more accurate.

It may be a waste of time and money anyway, as this will be used to further the argument for a bond issue, something that isn't a sure bet given the board's past actions.

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Jayhawker201 1 year, 5 months ago

What RSP has provided us is a joke! They blew it. Worthless! I can't believe we're spending our tax dollars on this kind of stuff. ...and now they want to spend ANOTHER "$27,500 but other details of the contract are not being released because they have been deemed proprietary and confidential."

Really? What is so top secret about demographics and enrollment projections that us taxpayers can't know about.

Hmmmm...something smells in Lawrence! Where can I sign up for this kind of work?

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irvan moore 1 year, 5 months ago

i'm thinking we would get more accurate forecasts from gypsy fortune tellers for less money

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Keith Richards 1 year, 5 months ago

It seems RSP should be providing this service for free this year since they were completely wrong on the projections we paid ten's of thousands of dollars for last year.

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