"I don't want to just sit here and wring our hands and say woe it is us. I think we need to be proactive and say what can we do," says Mark Griffith, School Board President. "We're trying to avoid a crisis situation," says LISD Superintendent Jack Clemmons. That crisis is becoming more and more obvious.
This is evidence since 1990, Lubbock Independent School District has lost more than 2,100 students. That translates into 10-million, 156-thousand, 7 hundred dollars. "As our enrollment drops we earn less state aid," says Dr. David Polnick, Assistant Superintendent for financial services. Polnick crunches numbers for LISD. He attributes low enrollment figures to two things:
"The growth in Texas is not in West Texas and that's the problem we have to deal with every year. I've been here two years and every year as we build the budget we have to budget for fewer and fewer children in our school district," says Polnick. Fewer students means fewer dollars, that's why the district needs to make some changes.
One way LISD is trying to increase enrollment is by sending out letters by mail. The letter lets parents know that even if they move out of the district, their kids can continue to stay at LISD schools and they don't have to pay the standard tuition fee. LISD is also trying to save money by reducing their personnel. "79 and a half positions have been cut, have not been fired they've just through attrition not been filled once they move or retire," says Clemmons.
Simply put, the district must reduce costs and enrollment must go up.