the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

Declining enrollment decreases school funding

A 22% decrease in enrollment since 2014 has resulted in a loss of almost $70,000 for the school’s budget.
Stephanie Cheng
Students walk out of the E/F gate.

Though WHS has seen a 22% decrease in student enrollment since 2014-15, the decline in enrollment has steadily plateaued in the last two years. 

The loss of around 600 students since 2014 has added up to a total deficit of around $68,400. These numbers affect the school’s budget as they are based on how many students are enrolled at the school. According to Superintendent of Financial Services Matthew Torres, the school is given a budget of around $250,000 each year, which equates to around $114 per student. The student population is currently at 2,131 students, a historically low number in WVUSD. Staffing is another aspect that is impacted by student numbers. 

“We have a lot of teachers who have retired, for example, because of declining enrollment. We’re also overstaffed in certain areas,” principal Ryan Maine said. “We lost two world language teachers last year, but the district said you can only hire one based on student class sizes. So therefore, we cut another staff member based on enrollment [numbers].”

The decrease in student numbers can also be seen in elementary schools and middle schools within the school district, where similar trends of declining enrollment have been identified. 

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“We saw that this was coming. Because they knew that the elementary numbers were low and the middle school numbers were low, so they predicted that this was coming in. Each year they’ll look at where elementary and middle school numbers are, and they’ll be able to give us a better prediction,” Maine said. “That’s why now [the numbers] are kind of evening out. But they’ll say it’s either gonna go up or down, usually in March. They’ll give us a projection of where we’re going to be next year.”

Two elementary schools in Baldwin Park have closed this past year due to declining enrollment. However, the decrease in student numbers has not been a major cause for concern at our school. 

“Back in the day, there were like 3000 students here and they all had three lunches. It was packed, so crowded to where it was almost uncomfortable. Some said it was too crowded, and now I think I feel like this is a good number to where it doesn’t feel as crowded. But there’s still a lot of kids on campus,” Maine said. “As far as I’ve heard, there’s been no talk of shutting down any of our schools. Numbers are still good and we’re still staffed well.” 

Maine stated that many external factors can affect enrollment numbers such as housing prices, competition with private schools, the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in homeschooling and families moving out of the community.  

“The best thing that you can do is really take control of what you can. So what I can control is just making sure that this is a great place to be, this is a great place to learn, that kids feel supported here and that teachers feel supported,” Maine said. “We’re never going to be perfect but again, we always want to make sure we’ve given our best and that people from outside the community see that.”

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About the Contributors
Lydia Chen
Lydia Chen, Staff writer
Hi, my name is Lydia Chen. I am a freshman staff writer for The Hoofprint. I have been dancing for almost 10 years, and I am currently on the WHS dance team. During my free time, I enjoy watching movies with my family and riding bikes. One fun fact about me is that I am a middle child with one older brother and one younger brother.
Stephanie Cheng
Stephanie Cheng, Photo manager and Media editor
Hi, my name is Stephanie Cheng and I am in 11th grade this year! This is my second year as the Hoofprint Photo manager and first year as Media editor. I am also in the Symphonic Orchestra on campus in addition to playing the piano outside of school. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music, going on walks and scrolling Pinterest.
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