Enrollment decline hits Fremont schools amid impasse with teachers

FREMONT – Teachers, parents and students from the Fremont Unified School District held a protest ahead of Wednesday night’s school board meeting – demanding higher salaries and hiring more nurses and school counselors. As enrollment declines, the district says it simply doesn’t have the money.

This is a familiar scenario playing out with districts across the Bay Area as public school enrollment continues to decline.

“A first-year teacher cannot afford an apartment in Fremont,” says Brannin Dorsey with the Fremont Teachers Association.

District leaders say they want to invest more in the students, but the money simply isn’t there.

“All of our school employees are deserving of a significant and substantive increase and we are working very hard to accomplish that goal,” says Fremont Unified Superintendent, CJ Cammack.

The majority of public school funding comes from the state, and the rest from property taxes and federal funds. The amount of money each district receives is based on average daily attendance.

In the past five years, public schools across the state have seen major declines in enrollment – with the biggest losses coming in the past two years during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A recent California Department of Education report said that’s especially true in places like the Bay Area with a higher cost of living, as many families move away to look for more affordable housing.

The problem is when a district has fewer students, it means less funding.

“Fremont Unified is in declining enrollment and we are monitoring our budget closely,” says Cammack.

The state is looking at ways to help fund schools that are seeing dips in enrollment. There are a number of bills working their way through the legislature in Sacramento.

As far as the negotiations in Fremont, a mediator is being brought in to help after both sides say they’ve reached an impasse.

Fremont Unified serves approximately 33,500 students with 2,000 certificated staff members.

Source : https://www.cbsnews.com/sanfrancisco/news/fremont-unified-school-district-enrollment-decline-teacher-impasse/

Leave a comment