The latest release of the 2012 School Report Cards is not the end of the road, but there are some interesting bits of information to gather from them. There has been debate about the accuracy and overall validity of these measuring sticks at this site, but also from the entity that puts them out. That’s not the focus of this article, as it will be brought up in the near future. Instead it’s the enormous drop in enrollment in New Richmond Schools.
A friend of this site had mentioned a while back that New Richmond SD had almost 2500 students two years ago when he started attending their meetings. The present 2012 report card stated that as of last year that number had fallen to 2354. The current number for October 2012 was under 2000 students. The district leadership did not state why this had occurred, but also stated something to the effect that it isn’t their job to track what happens to kids that leave the district. Fair enough, but combine this information with the fact that the Beckjord Power plant is down to around 40 employees and perhaps the walls are starting to close in a bit. The loss of around 500 students in a few years (around 20% if the numbers were correctly reported) and the loss of the largest employer in the district is a huge setback to the small community. The number of teachers that have retired recently were not scheduled to be replaced, but will this new statistic mean more jobs will have to be shed? That many students is half the size of all of Williamsburg or Felicity school districts. The number of staff, support, busing, and on down the line will be affected in some way or will require revenue to make up the difference. Since New Richmond is spending more than it takes in, it will have to tighten its belt or say the word it hasn’t uttered in a very long time. Levy.