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BUSD's student projections are invalid


Last updated 10/25/2018 at 6:40pm

Bonsall Unified School District has used the Poway Unified School District student generation rates for new homes to project future enrollment. The two districts could not be more dissimilar.

Poway Unified School District has 36,534 students in their K-12 schools. BUSD has 2,524 students in their K-12 schools. The Poway Unified School District is comprised of five high schools, one continuation high school, six middle schools, one elementary/middle school, 25 elementary schools and one adult school.

Bonsall Unified has one high school, one middle school and three elementary schools. Poway Unified is located in a metropolitan area that includes the city of Poway and part of San Diego City. Bonsall Unified is located in a rural area that includes Bonsall, parts of Fallbrook, Vista and Oceanside.

The enrollment for Poway Unified has been slightly increasing due to attractive educational programs, a variety of course offerings, high test scores in math and English, as well as numerous extracurricular activities. Bonsall Unified has declining enrollment with limited academic and extracurricular choices. As a result, a significant number of students transfer out of the district to attend other schools.

These differences make using Poway Unified’s student generation rates from new homes inappropriate for Bonsall Unified. Yet, Bonsall Unified used Poway Unified’s student generation rates. They combined the single family home and multi-family home rates and averaged them overall grade levels. This procedure doesn’t make sense mathematically.

Calculations should be done separately for grades K-5, 6-8 and 9-12, because the number of students in elementary school is significantly higher than middle school or high school. They assume that all students from new housing will attend a school in Bonsall Unified which residents know not to be true. The district does not consider that families are smaller, start having children later in life and that the state is projecting a declining number of students in public schools in the future.

As a result of using the student generation rates of a dissimilar district, and using inappropriate mathematical methodology, Bonsall Unified’s enrollment projections are invalid. Projecting that the high school’s enrollment will increase by 17 percent a year for the next five years is ludicrous.

Jan Patterson


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