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Your Views: Numbers don’t indicate Milton needs a new school

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letter to the editor
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

I have been following the debate over the new school referendum in Milton and wonder if the public is only being told what the school board wants them to know. A flyer promoting the new school talks about the increase in enrollment, but I find that information misleading.

According to figures from the state Department of Public Instruction, peak enrollment for Milton schools is currently 11th grade, while the sixth grade has 50 students fewer than that. Therefore, the number of students will decrease over the next several years.

Based on that information, Milton High School will have a decrease of 99 students over the next five years, from 1,104 students in the 2016-17 school year to 1,005 students in the 2021-22 school year.

Census numbers between 2000 and 2010 show Milton had a 2 percent decrease in family size. In order to get back those 99 students, Milton would need to gain at least 100 new families with one school-aged child while having nobody leave the district.

Where are the new students coming from that would cause an increase?

A 2015 study by Plunkett Raysich Architects predicted enrollment to stay flat for about 10 years, then possibly decline slightly.

I simply do not understand the need for a new school. The current school has had several additions over the years. They say it’s old and needs to be replaced, but Janesville Craig High School was built in 1955 and is still being used.

Apparently, the Milton School Board has forgotten about the Plunkett Raysich study.

BARRY VON FALKENSTEIN

Milton



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