The Cedarburg School District may be getting a little more crowded soon, and that's not necessarily a bad thing.
On Monday, Dec. 12, Superintendent Todd Bugnacki presented his plan to the Cedarburg Common Council to increase open enrollment at all schools in the district, allowing more students outside of the area to attend schools in Cedarburg.
The primary incentive of Bugnacki's plan is based on the fact that for each student that attends school in the district via open enrollment, the district will receive around $6,700 in revenue from the state. That revenue, according to Bugnacki, will help the tax levy either remain flat or even decrease. According to Bugnacki, there are about 190 students who are enrolled from outside the district.
“Usually an increase in enrollment and revenue would lead to an increase in the levy,” explained Bugnacki. “However, the amount of general aid received from open enrollment would impact that levy in a positive way.”
Bugnacki pointed out that general aid from the state increases along with enrollment, and that general aid would allow the district to depend less on the tax levy.
While the council's response was fairly positive, the main concern brought up was how the increase in students would affect class size, facility space, and teacher demands. Bugnacki, joined by Director of Business Services Ben Irwin, was quick to address those concerns.
One of his main recommendations pertained to the district's 4K program, which he notes has seen an uptick in enrollment. Bugnacki suggested that the half-day structure of the program could accommodate half the students in the morning and half in the afternoon.
“We have been carefully monitoring class sizes for these very reasons, and we feel that the district's level of success with educating students allows us to increase enrollment,” said Bugnacki. “These can be challenges for us to face but they are welcome challenges.”