Friday, November 28, 2014

Letters to Editor
January 23, 2014 by Staff Report | No Comments

Explore Opportunities West Geauga's open enrollment policy can yield strong financial benefits to area residents, which have not been accurately chacterized in public statements. For…

Explore Opportunities

West Geauga’s open enrollment policy can yield strong financial benefits to area residents, which have not been accurately chacterized in public statements.

For example, if a classroom with an ideal size of 20 has only 15 pupils, and if five are added by open enrollment, based on the state paying $5,700 each, the district has a net cash gain of about $28,500.

The fact the “average” cost per pupil is $9,800 is irrelevant; only the “incremental” cost is important, since there are virtually no added costs in this situation (no more teachers, desks, heating, etc).

With 250 total open enrollment pupils, the district gains more than $1,400,000 yearly. With about 3000 households in the district, this saves each household $466 yearly in taxes that we would otherwise have to bear.

As to the quality work performed by open enrollment students, I saw a statistic that as a group they actually outperform our own kids. That shouldn’t be a surprise parents must be unusually committed to their children’s education to warrant driving a distance to get them to school. Any teacher will tell you they’d rather have kids whose parents are highly supportive.

And what’s wrong with exposing our kids to others whose culture may be slightly different than the perfect culture we have here?

Some people say there other ways for the district to save money. Fine, but in todays’ era of rising costs, we should explore every opportunity to continuously improve the district’s efficiency, consistent with delivering a quality education.

Doug Bletcher
Russell Township

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