Topics: enrollment numbers, financial situation

As we complete the first quarter of the school year, the enrollment has stabilized at 2,320 students in grades K-12. There are also approximately 110 pre-school students. The excitement level is high for these children as well as for the 198 kindergarten students  enrolled in the three elementary schools.
As always, our primary mission is to provide quality programs for all students in the Mexico community. Each of the 375 adults employed by the school system join me in working toward this goal. These people transport students to school, prepare breakfast and lunch, maintain the facilities, supervise students on the playground,  and teach them in the classrooms. Those of us in the administrative office continue to offer support and review student achievement in order to lead toward continuous improvement.

Our Current Financial Situation
The school district's finances are stable as we operate in these trying times. However, school finance meetings and information from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education continue to advise public school districts to be conservative as the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years may be even more challenging.
In our state, school districts receive funds from three primary sources:  local revenue, state revenue and federal revenue. Each education dollar is composed of  34 percent state revenue,  8 percent Proposition C sales tax revenue, 10 percent federal funding, 29 percent local revenue, and 19 percent from other sources.The state revenue is determined by student attendance. The Mexico district has had a declining student enrollment in the past decade, resulting in falling state revenue.
For example, in fiscal year 2007, our district received 40 percent of its revenue from state funds. In fiscal year 2010 we received 32 percent of our revenue from the state.  As the economy continues to struggle across the nation, our district continues to review programs and services in order to provide quality educational services to our students. To prepare for this financial struggle, two years ago the district reduced its expenditures by approximately $1 million.
One of the ways the district is saving funds, and will continue to see savings in the years ahead, is due to the energy efficiency projects at Hawthorne Elementary School and Mexico High School.
In another money-saving effort, the Board of Education is considering moving the central administrative offices from Richardson Hall to office space available in the newly-purchased transportation facility in the industrial park. Richardson Hall, which was constructed in 1923, has utilities of approximately $36,000 a year. The estimated energy cost at the former  Plastec building is much less.