Big enrollment hikes not planned for American Academy
You may have heard recent rumors about a drastically increased enrollment and an additional fourth floor at American Academy (AA). However, they are exactly that; rumors. Expected enrollment at AA for 2010-2011 is 875, a seven percent increase from this year’s enrollment total of 820. This is neither a large nor a significant increase for the school and it will not require an expansion of any kind.
The budgeted goal of 875 students comes from two sources: the need to accommodate younger siblings of existing students coming into kindergarten, and the need to balance the revenue brought in by each student with the school’s projected balanced budget.
Like all other public schools, AA receives per pupil revenue for each student that attends the school. AA must use those funds to employ staff and provide benefits, purchase services from the district, buy books and equipment for students and take care of the facility. Unlike other public schools, AA must also pay for its building with that same per pupil revenue. Because AA faces the same budget cuts to their per pupil revenue next year that other public schools are experiencing, it needs to adjust student enrollment so it can offset their building costs and maintain a balanced budget.
Every school has some fluctuation from year to year as families move away, new families arrive, and siblings join the school. The same holds true for AA. But because AA is a public charter school, they must request a change in their school enrollment cap from the Douglas County School District Board of Education (BOE) for even small increases in student numbers.
Since the process for approving these increases is a bureaucratic and time consuming one, this year AA’s administration chose to request that BOE okay a ceiling of 1200 students so that they could avoid having to go back to the BOE every year for the small increases that are more typical.
So while the school will in fact see a small increase for next year, AA has no plans for a sizeable enrollment increase or an increase in building size for the foreseeable future.