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Letter: Report raises Menahga open enrollment concerns

I attended the Menahga School Board regular meeting on July 18 to listen to the report from FJJ company. Jeff Schultz from FJJ explained the results they accumulated from the meetings held with students, faculty, business members and local citizens. The growth of our in district students has grown 36 percent in the past 10 years. Open enrolled student has grown from 209 in 2015 to 250 in 2016.

Other statistics on surrounding school districts were shown with students lost to open enrollment out and how many of our open enrolled students we take out of those schools. This seems like a ridiculous amount of students we are housing and busing when the school is tight on classrooms now.

The interesting point on the next 10 year growth predictions by FJJ, is that the prediction with current open enrolled and in district students the growth predicted is to increase from 999 to 1045 students total. If Menahga would cut out open enrolled students (other than the state minimum) in 10 years our school district population would be approximately 892 with the growth trends predicted by FJJ. Our school would work easily with this size of student population.

The referendum that the Menahga School board will be working to achieve will be to add a large addition to help house open enrolled students. We are talking about adding in district 50 students in 10 years and a $20 to $30 referendum to build. Remember the open rolled student funds are not used to help pay for any building referendum. Also the board has levied (no vote from district residents) $724 extra for both in district and open enrolled student on our property taxes. Take a look at your school levy amount.