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Highland Sees Loss of Open Enrolled Students from Washington, Iowa City Area

Posted: Thursday, October 19th, 2017 at 6:24 am
Author: KCII News - Sam McIntosh

Highland School District has seen a decrease of 18 students open enrolling into the district and an uptick of nearly eight students open enrolling out of the district.

Highland Superintendent Dr. Mike Jorgensen says this may have been caused by the closing of the Ainsworth Elementary School building last spring. Of the 18 students who chose to enroll out of Highland this year, Jorgensen says they previously came from several districts, “I believe it was something like four of them from Iowa City. And there was seven from Washington, and there was a couple from WACO and a couple from Mid-Prairie. It was kind of spread out, there really wasn’t one significant block of students that went one particular direction.”

The district plans on surveying families to get feedback on their decision to leave Highland. The overall drop of 38 students from the district will cause a revenue loss of $253,000 from their general fund. Jorgensen has been thinking of budgetary solutions to this loss, “I’ve been in the process of preparing a list and I’ve actually come up with a plan that I have presented to the board through email, they have not had the chance to discuss it yet, that shows an approximate $200,000 in savings that could be implemented for this next year.”

Jorgensen says his plan does not involve a reduction of staff or programming. If the legislature decides to give a 1% growth in school funding next year, that could mean a $70,000 increase for Highland, though Jorgensen says there is no guarantee to that happening.