Monday, June 19, 2017

Baltimore teachers launch first-ever campaign to stem tide of enrollment decline - Baltimore Sun

Baltimore teachers launch first-ever campaign to stem tide of enrollment decline - Baltimore Sun:

Baltimore teachers launch first-ever campaign to stem tide of enrollment decline


aced with a shrinking student population and decreased state funding, Baltimore teachers are launching a city-wide enrollment drive.
The teachers union has enlisted its members for a five-week campaign starting Monday evening to knock on thousands of doors and try to convince parents to send their children to city public schools.
The recruiting effort — the first of its kind in the city — will coincide with a blitz of radio commercials intended to stanch three years of enrollment declines. Baltimore schools lost more than 1,300 students between 2016 and 2017. District officials expect to lose about 1,000 more students next school year — unless they take steps to reverse the departures.
Organizers plan to announce the campaign Monday afternoon at Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School in Charles Village.


"We hope to be able to re-enroll 1,000 students," said Marietta English, president of the Baltimore Teachers Union. "We needed to do something."
Shrinking enrollment is a costly problem in a system where education funding is based largely on student population. Principals will receive about $5,400 per student to run their schools next year. The district receives most of its money from the state in a formula tied to enrollment. In the past three years enrollment has decreased from about 85,000 to an estimated 82,350 students, about a 3 percent slump.
Students who have left the district in recent years have taken millions of dollars in per-pupil funding with them. In December, city schools chief Sonja Santelises said the declines would cost the district at least $25 million this school year, which ended last week. Administrators say hundreds of students are leaving because their families participate in housing relocation programs that sometimes take them out of the city. Others are transferring to Catholic schools under under a new state program that gives students vouchers to attend private schools.
Some parents have moved their families to nearby Baltimore County and enrolled their children at better performing schools there. Others parents simply fail to ensure their children attend school.


A student reengagment center at school district headquarters is focused on bringing these students back to school. Students and parents can meet with office staff and develop a plan to re-enroll. About 80 percent of students who come in are re-enrolled, said Alison Perkins-Cohen, chief of staff for city schools CEO Sonja Santelises. As of last month, 570 Baltimore teachers launch first-ever campaign to stem tide of enrollment decline - Baltimore Sun:

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