Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

FUESD prepares for possible decline in enrollment

While the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District (FUESD) has been focusing on growth at the San Onofre Elementary, the district as a whole is preparing for a 50 to 60 student attendance decline at the return of winter break.

According to FUESD Superintendent Janice Schultz, there was an increase in student population overall in the district, but they are noticing a decline. Schultz believes the district may lose in-town enrollment as families go home to visit and do not return because of the lack of work.

“If 50 or 60 kids don’t come back after Winter Break, it is possible that we will be overstaffed at some in-town schools,” said Schultz. “We will need to look at that.”

However, the district recently gave its teaching, classified and management employees a one time pay increase based on an early student attendance increase in the 2008-2009 academic year.

Schultz said there will be no impact on the current district budget because it is funded based on the California Basic Educational Data System (CBEDS) student enrollment count from either October 2007 or October 2008, depending on which was higher.

The CBEDS is an annual collection of basic student and staff data including student enrollment, graduates, dropouts, course enrollment, and enrollment in alternative education, gifted and talented education.

Schultz said she attended a county workshop on the layoff process for both certificated and classified employees, but at the same time, stated the district is preparing for growth at the San Onofre Elementary School on Camp Pendleton.

New housing has opening up near San Onofre Elementary, and the district is estimating that it will pick up 200 students between January and June 2009, requiring more teachers.

However, Schultz stated if the district’s in-town schools are overstaffed, the district cannot hire new teachers to place at San Onofre.

“If we are overstaffed in town and if we have the growth at San Onofre, we may reorganize some in-town classes that are under enrolled and transfer the teacher to San Onofre,” said Schultz. “We can’t afford to be overstaffed in town and hire new teachers at San Onofre. It’s, unfortunately, all about money.”

FUESD is planning to reevaluate in town staffing ratios in January in order to reorganize if necessary.

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