Although school districts generally welcome increased enrollment of students, for the Ladue School District, which is largely funded by tax revenues, higher enrollment presents some economic challenges.
“We are the fastest growing school district in st. louis county,” said Susan Dielmann, Ladue School District communications director. “For some districts, the more students you have, the more money you get. But when you are funded by property taxes, that doesn’t help you.”
Enrollment data shared at the last school board meeting show that Ladue schools enrollment was growing fast in the past years. The district went from 3223 students in 2003 to 3970 students in 2012, adding more than 700 students.
Projections, however, show that enrollment will continue to grow at a slower pace in the next five years. Ladue will go from 4018 students in 2013 to 4225 in 2017.
“This slower projected growth will help us with our finances,” Dielmann said. “We added nearly 800 students in the last 10 years, we are not prepared for any additional growth.”
Dielmann said the district will be able to accommodate all students and will likely not need to ask voters for any tax increases in the foreseeable future, so long as projections continue the same. Dielmann said she understands how important fiscal responsibility is for residents of the district, adding that the district is committed to keeping costs down.
“In order to make this work, our board of education put parameters in place for our administration, telling them to not increase expenditures by more than 2 percent in the coming years,” Dielmann said. “At this point, barring unforeseen circumstances, we don’t see us going out for another tax increase for at least another 10 years.”
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