Local Population Growth, Student Numbers and Budget Implications

Wisconsin State Journal Editorial:

Imagine what would have happened if a city the size of Beloit had sprung up in Dane County over the past five years.
That’s almost what happened. Dane County’s population grew by 31,580 from 2000 to 2005, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released last week.
No other Wisconsin county gained as many people.
The population increase extended a trend. Over the past 15 years Dane County has gained 91,000 people, almost equal to the population of Kenosha, Wisconsin’s fourth largest city. Projections call for the growth to continue.

Barb Schrank:

MMSD Lost 174 Students While the Surrounding School Districts Increased by 1,462 Students Over Four School Years. Revenue Value of 1,462 Students – $13.16 Million Per Year*
MMSD reports that student population is declining. From the 2000-2001 school year through the 2003-2004 school year, MMSD lost 174 students. Did this happen in the areas surrounding MMSD? No. From the 2000-2001 through the 2003-2004 school year, the increase in non-MMSD public school student enrollment was 1,462 outside MMSD.
The property tax and state general fund revenue value of 174 students is $1.57 million per year in the 2003-2004 MMSD school year dollars (about $9,000 per student). For 1,462 students, the revenue value is $13.16 million per year. Put another way, the value of losing 174 students equals a loss of 26-30 teachers. A net increase of 1,462 students equals nearly 219 teachers. There are more subtleties to these calculations due to the convoluted nature of the revenue cap calculation, federal and state funds for ELL and special education, but the impact of losing students and not gaining any of the increase of students in the area is enormous.