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District's Downward Trend in Enrollment and Budget Challenges
Posted 10/24/19

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Dear Parents, Staff, Students, and Community Members,

I would like to share information with you regarding the current enrollment challenges Fremont Unified School District is facing, as well as some of the fiscal realities resulting from our changing environment.

For many years, the FUSD’s enrollment had steadily increased. In 2017-18, we were at peak enrollment at 35,430 students in Fremont Unified Schools. In 2018-19, enrollment declined for the first time in five years to 35,176. Based on our demographer’s enrollment projections for 2019-20, the district had budgeted for 35,632, an increased enrollment of 456 students. The district’s official enrollment count, as of October 3, was 34,991. This represents a decline of 185 students over last year and a decline of 641 students of what was budgeted for the current school year. This downward trend exists throughout Alameda County where 16 of 18 school districts are also in decline.

The out-year forecast as presented by the district’s demographers at our October 16, 2019, Board meeting indicates that FUSD will have over 6,000 fewer students than projected between school year 2019-20 through 2022-23. The demographer cites a number of reasons for this sharp decline which can be viewed on the District website (forward to 2:06:00 for presentation).

Regardless of the reasons for this decline, the loss of 641 students for the current school year represents an estimated $3.9 million in lost revenue. For the out-year decline through the 2022-23 school year, the district estimates lost revenues will total nearly $50 million. Decreased revenues of this magnitude, coupled with rising costs, will make it necessary for FUSD to reduce its expenditures and/or increase its revenue. Since an increase in revenue is not guaranteed, we must plan for eventual decreases with budget-balancing measures. A budget update will be presented to the Governing Board at its October 30, 2019, meeting.

The Board will hear the 2019-20 budget update and consider next steps. The district will prepare to have a plan in place by the spring of 2020. As of today, no decisions regarding budget adjustments have been made. 

I want to assure you that we are working tirelessly to provide the best educational opportunities for all of our students as we work through this new challenge.

Dr. Kim Wallace