We’ve all heard about the financial effects of our county’s declining school enrollments. The funding from the state is on a per student basis, so fewer students means less money.
But what about the instructional effects? We tend to think that having fewer students in class is a good thing, and for the most part, it is. But there are other considerations. And the other considerations effect students, teachers and schedules. We will look at each of them over the next few days.
Effects on students:
- Smaller elementary and middle school teams result in fewer options to place a student on a grade-level team.
- Smaller student populations result in more instructional levels in each class.
- Fewer teachers make it challenging to find class/club advisors; as a result, students in smaller schools have fewer options for clubs than students in larger schools.
- Smaller schools find it difficult to field the full complement of athletic teams.
- As enrollments decline, fewer interventions for struggling students are available due to corresponding decreases in state aid (i.e., Community Learning Centers, high school crisis counselors, etc.)
- In smaller schools, it is difficult to separate students who are having conflict issues.