School Cuts Could Be Even Bigger

Although no firm estimate has yet been provided to the public, up to 18 proposed schools could be cut from the Cincinnati Public Schools’ massive reconstruction plan based on new enrollment projections.

As CityBeat reported July 12 in “Disappearing Schools”, the board of education is considering scaling back the $1 billion rebuilding plan, but couldn’t decide to what extent until board members agreed on what the school district’s enrollment would be by the plan’s completion in 2011.

The district’s current plan calls for building 64 schools to accommodate 38,565 students. Superintendent Rosa Blackwell recently proposed changing it to 55 schools to accommodate 34,865 students based on updated enrollment estimates, but she didn’t identify which schools could be on the chopping block. Some board members, however, cited studies that enrollment might drop to 27,000 or lower.

After two weeks of heated debate, the board settled Monday night on an enrollment projection of 31,550 in the next five years. Some board members said that could require cutting up to nine additional schools beyond what Blackwell proposed.

Blackwell and her staff will now devise a plan on proposed cuts to submit to the board sometime later this summer.

Residents without school-age children or who lack any direct ties to Cincinnati Public Schools still likely will be affected by the district’s fate. Concerns about the quality of education provided by the district consistently rank near the top in most surveys about why people move away from the city, and causes Cincinnati’s tax base to shrink. Also, some studies indicate that dropout rates partially correlate to increased crime.

— Kevin Osborne

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2 Comments on “School Cuts Could Be Even Bigger”

  1. so does this mean less State money is forthcoming, less CPS money will be borrowed, or what?

    is the full value of the Issue 3 levy still going to be borrowed (with almost 100% interest paid over its life) and if so how will it be spent?

  2. I’m somewhat interested in this topic, but my main reason for posting is simply to try out the new site.
    CityBeat has the potential to have far and away the best blog site in Sinincincinnati, so I’m honored to be on the ground floor here, as it were.
    With regard to government schools, as a peaceful anarchist, I’m “agin’ em.”
    Someday I’ll get the quotes and post them here, from a book on Pennsylvania history in which the German community refused Ben Franklin’s offer of “free” schools. They recognized his agenda, and told him where to put it.

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