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ERIC Number: ED165301
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Declining Enrollments: A New Dilemma for Educators. Fastback 116.
Keough, William F., Jr.
Twenty years after the baby boom, U.S. population is falling and school enrollment is declining. Contrary to public expectations, smaller enrollment does not mean smaller school budgets, and balancing the educational budget will require cutting programs, closing schools, and reducing teacher force. The experience of the East Meadow (New York) school district, whose residents refused both to close underfilled schools and to approve the budget needed to operate the schools, illustrates the fact that education is no longer a high national priority. Enrollment decline is creating the need for every district to develop a reduction in force policy. Eliminating programs and closing schools will require careful setting of criteria. New creative ways for dealing with enrollment decline, such as space sharing, regrouping students, early teacher retirement plans, and teacher leaves of absence, while not able to radically change the course of events, might modify their impact. The gravest danger for administrators in dealing with declining enrollment is applying a short-term solution in lieu of long-range planning. It is necessary to have a master plan that incorporates opportunities for community, faculty, and administrator input. Although there are no ways to make education again a high national priority, this report offers suggestions for preparing for and modifying the impact of its decline. (Author/JM)
Descriptors: Administrator Responsibility, Birth Rate, Community Attitudes, Declining Enrollment, Elementary Secondary Education, Enrollment Influences, Population Trends, Reduction in Force, School Closing, Urban to Suburban Migration
Phi Delta Kappa, Eighth and Union, Box 789, Bloomington, Indiana 47401 ($0.75; $0.60 for PDK members; quantity discounts)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington, IN.
Note: Not available in paper copy due to small print size of original document