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Community planning input forum is Monday

DICKINSON - Dickinson Public School District patrons are invited to participate in a community planning input forum immediately after Monday's regular meeting of the Dickinson School Board.

Slated to start around 6 p.m. in the Central Administration Office Board Room, the forum agenda posted on the school district's Web page outlines a discussion about the district's tax levies, facility needs and utilization, instructional and administrative staffing and academic and extracurricular programming. The discussion is to focus on considerations that may be needed in these respective areas over the next three and five years.

Six-year enrollment trends and projections that are part of the supporting materials for the forum show the district is forecasting an overall loss of 163 students over the next five years based on fall enrollments. The fall 2007 district-wide student count tallied 2,498 students, compared to 2,461 students for the start of this school year.

That total is projected to fall to 2,335 students by the fall of 2012. These totals do not include students enrolled in the Early Childhood Center or the Southwest Alternative High School.

Meanwhile, a comparison of the 16 study council school districts in North Dakota shows Dickinson is 10th in the average cost per pupil during the 2006-2007 school year and ranks 14th in the total mill levy.

Dickinson spent an average of $6,435.89 per pupil and had an overall mill levy of 203.13. That compares to an average of $8,643.10 per pupil and a 299.99 mill levy seen by the Fargo Public Schools, which was first in both categories. Second in average cost per pupil was Grand Forks at $7,488.33, while second in total mill levy was West Fargo at 248.76.

At the bottom for average per pupil cost was Grafton at $5,661.34, while the lowest total mill levy in the 16-school comparison is Bottineau at 171.41. Valley City was 15th in average cost per pupil at $6,120.12 and Rugby was 15th in total mill levy at 196.14.

Dickinson had the seventh largest taxable valuation for the 16 districts in 2007 at $39,734,325. Fargo led the way with $236,551,016, followed by Bismarck at $205,360,014, West Fargo at $143,467,729 and Grand Forks at $137,167,230.

Wahpeton had the lowest taxable valuation of the 16 districts at $6,973,829, followed by Grafton at $10,084,591.