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Declining enrollment in the Coachella Valley

Following the biggest drop in enrollment, California school districts have had to lay off teachers. Research shows that by 2030, only 1 out of every 5 Californians will be a child, as a result of declining birth rates.

Maria Gandera, Superintendent from CVUSD, explains one of many reasons for the decline in enrollment from declining birth rates.

“That a lot of people are making decisions for their families that includes moving out of the state,” says Gandera

Brian Murray, Assistant Superintendent of PSUSD,has also noticed the decline in enrollment.

He says ” It’s really up-ticked a little here in the last four years where we’re down about a thousand students in the 4 year period.”

For PSUSD, Officials say there were no permanent teachers laid off and the projections were what they expected.

“Our projection was 190 students fewer than we were last year,” says Murray.

And PSUSD’s projections are a helpful estimate of totals.

“We rely heavily on projections… we have a demographer who supplies us with projections for enrollment,” says Murray.

Every year, PSUSD plans on certain number of students in each class but there are times when individual schools have fewer students than they had projected to be at the school whereas for another school there are more students than expected. This could leave the district to make staffing decisions resulting in temporary teachers being laid off.

Although cuts were made at PSUSD and CVUSD, Maria Gandera, Superintendent of CVUSD and a former teacher has a message of hope for fellow teachers who have been affected by the decline.

“There are other options.There is sub-ing…There is looking at adding a second credential and maybe finding a full time job through that second credential… Don’t give up,” says Gandera.

Desert Sands Unified School District says there were no teachers laid off this school year and when enrollment fluctuates from year-to-year the districts will ask a teacher to transfer to another school in need.

KESQ

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