Elmbrook school board to look at non-resident enrollment…again.

We go through this every year, don’t we? This time there’s a sophisticated Excel worksheet to run the numbers. If that appeals to you, you can read the results as part of this packet the board received on the issue. The item is number 4D on tomorrow night’s agenda.

Assistant Superintendent Christine Hedstrom includes a memo that has current and historical non-resident and regular enrollment numbers. We’ve seen some of these before. The word from the administration is that non-resident enrollment helps the “bottom line.”

Another age-old argument for non-resident enrollment is how shipping in outside students creates diversity. Page 8 of the packet information may show otherwise. The 3rd Friday count by ethnicity shows resident population at 85.7% White, non Hispanic. Open Enrollment ships in students who are 74.1% White, non Hispanic. The majority of Chapter 220 students are minorities, almost as many Asian/Pacific Islanders as Black, not Hispanic are brought in through the program.

I wish the board would consider this argument: how many resident students are we losing by shipping in so many non-resident students? The board complains of declining enrollment, but could it be their policies are exacerbating the problem?

This count shows a higher ratio of non-resident to total students than the board policy currently allows. I believe that percentage has been over the recommended 10% for a few years now. If the school board is going to continue to prostitute the district with increasing non-resident enrollment, the least they can do is own up to it and change the policy.

We let them get away with a lot when they can quote a goal of 10% but exceed that percentage year after year.

I’ve one more year with a student in this district. If I were starting from scratch, these numbers would encourage me to look elsewhere. Am I alone?


  1. Probably you are in a very tiny minority.

    The ‘lost’ Elmbrook students are at MUHS, DSHA, Memorial, Brookfield Academy, and the Lutheran schools. Umnnnnnhhhhh….that’s what affluence allows.

  2. But that’s what I’m saying. A lot of us can afford it. Are we driving the students towards the other options?

  3. I don’t understand your question.

    If you wish to make the case that Elmbrook schools are ‘overbuilt’–having too much capacity–then do so.

    But is 10% “overbuilt”? I doubt it. That’s prudence, not waste.

  4. We are certainly disconnecting on this one, aren’t we Dad29? I’m sure the district will love your statement on “prudence.”

    That wasn’t my point, by the way. I have no idea where you came up with that one!

  5. “….how many resident students are we losing by shipping in so many non-resident students? The board complains of declining enrollment, but could it be their policies are exacerbating the problem?”

    So exactly what DOES that mean, Cindy?

  6. The board’s decision to increase non-resident numbers could be causing the resident parent’s decision to look outside the district.

    I guess I’m biased, but it doesn’t seem that hard to decipher. Am I missing some way to interpret this that should be such a source of frustration?

  7. The Lorax says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the district could net those families who are willing to donate millions of dollars for facilities?

    I wonder exactly how a Brookfield Academy is doing better than Elmbrook.

  8. Well, for one I think BA doesn’t make excuses for lack of performance.

  9. No, BA doesn’t make excuses. They do however carefully select students that will be high achievers and they are quick to show them the door when they are not achieving. Unfortunately, public schools cannot do the same thing

  10. And what are the reasons that increased non-resident enrollment drives resident students to look elsewhere?

  11. Whatever

    You have no kids in elmbrook per your statements

    Where do you live?

    Where do your children go to school??

    Are you a school board member?

  12. LT,