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ConVal numbers saying something

To the editor:

Dave Anderson’s recent article in the Ledger-Transcript said the Conval study committee would not consider closing schools.

Anderson’s attempt at being funny or lightening up the weighty subject of the study committee did not set well, but he reported what was said at the study committee’s recent meeting.

The Ledger-Transcript’s editorial on the same issue suggested we should not restrict what must be done.

In the same issue, Tom Welden, one of the best School Board members we have had in a long, long time corrected board member Mark Craig as to what’s right and wrong about Conval’s economic crisis and structure.

The big guns are aware this is serious stuff, and our inexperienced School Board will do well to listen to the nays and yeas as they come forward.

I have been asked to pinpoint the problem. In 300 words or less, let me try to tell it to you as I see it.

In 2003, the gross Conval school budget was $44,302,000 and enrollment was 3,170. In 2013, gross budget is $45,440,000 and enrollment was 2,336. That’s a drop of 734 students.

The budget increased $1,138,000 in this same time period.

Dividing the 2003 gross cost by 2003 enrollment, the gross budget cost per student was $13,973.

In year 2013, the gross budget cost was $45,440,000; divided by 2013 enrollment of 2,336 the gross cost per student is $19,450. Effectively the gross budget cost per student increased $5,477.

If we assume we have 15 students per classroom, we needed 211 classrooms in 2003. Today we need 155; that’s 50 fewer needed today.

Fran Chapman


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