This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2007 Election
Smart Voter

Declining Enrollment

By Greg W. Hunter

Candidate for Governing Board Member; Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate
Declining enrollment is an issue being used by some to distract from the real priority in our District, which is prudent management of our budget.
Position: Declining Enrollment

In general, I regard "declining enrollment" as a meaningless catch phrase designed by school administrators to bewilder people and keep them from asking good questions about how the NLMUSD budget is divided up.

First, we could ask has there been an enrollment decline in NLMUSD? The answer is yes! Next, we could ask is it a serious issue for our District? The answer is + not yet and it may never be. There is a lot of uncertainty about demographic trends, but to things in perspective at the end of 2004 there were about 24,000 students enrolled the District. Today, enrollment is about 22,500. A loss of 1500 students may seem like a lot, but the enrollment was about 22,500 in 1998-99 and less than that before. So, the enrollment fluctuation is normal and in-line with what we have experienced before as a district.

The real question is what, if anything, should we do about the enrollment fluctuation? We should note that we don't have to do anything at this point and it might be regarded as imprudent to act too aggressively by closing schools that we have to turn around and reopen in another year or two. Why don't we have to do anything? Our existing schools are being well utilized and the District's budget is not suffering as a result of the decline in students due an increase in per pupil funding by the state.

What should we do? It makes sense to act slowly by trying to reform programs in the District that would make our schools more attractive to residents. For example, we could do a much better job with gifted and talented education and by creating centers of excellence like magnet programs. Otherwise, if budgetary pressure increases we might make cuts but try to keep the cuts away from the classroom. Personally, I believe administration is the first place to look for cut backs. I have a more to say on administrative spending in our District, but I'll save that for another position paper.

In sum, enrollment fluctuations (i.e., decline) being experienced by our District are normal and do not require any drastic action like closing schools. We need to be careful to ensure that the money being spent in the District is used wisely and in a way that give the most benefit to our teachers and children. Declining enrollment is a phrase that can easily distract people from focusing form budget management + THE REAL ISSUE at the heart of problems in our District.

Next Page: Position Paper 3

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
November 2007 Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

ca/la Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 27, 2007 21:45
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.