If kids were dollars…

With enrollment in the Chico Unified School District having dropped by 1,000 since 1997-98, a lot of questions are being asked about where those students went. CUSD inquiries haven’t turned up any shockers: Families leave Chico to make more money, and people are moving here with no kids. No one has publicly put much blame on private or charter schools, which the district perceives as having little impact on the problem. Each student in the CUSD draws $35.46 a day—that’s $4,622 a year—from the state. Just for kicks, we found out the current enrollment numbers for other schools that Chico students attend and the corresponding amount they could earn the district if it snagged them back. (Impossible, obviously, since there are many reasons children attend non-CUSD schools.) The total comes to more than $8.7 million.

School # of students $ CUSD could get

private religious schools

Pleasant Valley Baptist School 72 $332,784

Mercy Catholic High School 145 N/A*

Notre Dame Catholic School 240 $1.1 million

Champion Christian School 150 $693,300

King’s Christian School 190 $878,180

Seventh-Day Adventist 94 $434,468

Chico Christian School† 276 $1.28 million

other private schools

Progressive Schoolhouse 24 $110,928

Montessori Elementary 43 $198,746

public charter schools

Blue Oak Charter School Inc. 74 $342,028

Camptonville Academy 325 $1.5 million

Chico Country Day School 264 $1.2 million

Four Winds of Indian Education 135 $629,970

* Mercy is in Red Bluff and buses an undetermined number of students there from Chico.

† Chico Christian School is expanding in fall 2005 to include middle school.