The top agenda item that may bring a lot of concerned parents to tonight’s Rim of the World Unified School District board of trustees meeting is the possibility that due to continuing declining enrollment and the accompanying financial cuts from the state one of the schools might have to be closed.
The public session on Wednesday night (that follows a closed meeting for the board members) will be held at 6 p.m. at Rim of the World High School. The school is located in Lake Arrowhead directly on Hwy. 18.
Unlike the 1990s and the early 2000’s when people were moving into the mountains which, of course, filled the schools with children, that scenario hasn’t existed for the past few years. As enrollment figures began to drop the various members of the school board sought solutions to the problem by consolidating some schools and making efforts to keep the district in a viable situation. Obviously the school district cannot maadate that families with school-aged children cannot move out of the area but when they do it’s impact is enormous on the operation of the district.
Because school districts in California are paid by the state according to each child sitting in each seat each day, it behooves a district to “hold its own,” so to speak with enrollment and the available issues to compensate when enrollment begins to decline. The Rim School District has been through the ups and downs of enrollment (and accompanying consolidations of schools) throughout the decades they have been established in the local mountains. When school enrollment begins to really impact the district’s ability to fund programs (many of which are mandated by the county, state or federal government) the district has to take a good look at how to compensate. Since the mountains are a unique area people often move to the mountains but for one reason or another they may discover it’s not feasible and they move off the mountain. With them goes the state funding for those school-aged children.
With declining enrollment the past several years the district board of trustees may have to take some rather drastic actions up to and including closing or consolidating schools again.
Tonight’s meeting will undoubtedly attract a lot of concerned residents and parents so if you’re planning to go I suggest you get there early.
The public session will begin at 6 p.m. after a closed session by the board of education members.