Declining enrollments and more public comment on AB 1266 highlighted the Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting last night. Dan Stork was there and cites the numbers and the concerns…
The enrollment for the first month of the school year in the Morongo Unified School District reached a 26-year low at 8,515 students. The peak enrollment of 9,745 was just five years ago. Assistant Superintendent Dave Price said that the five-year drop of 1,230 students translates to a loss in state-provided revenue of over $9 million per year. The net drop in the past year was 82 students, despite an increase in west end schools, Black Rock High School, and Independent Continuing Education (ICE) enrollments. The drop for east end schools was 108. Declines driven by the loss of personnel at the Marine Base are expected to continue.
Public comment against AB 1266, officially called the School Success and Opportunity Act, but termed the “same sex bathroom law” by opponents, continued for a third meeting. Board member Ed Will, who is the legislative representative for the Board, apologized for an erroneous attribution of a pro-AB 1266 article he cited at the last meeting. He also read some Recommended Guidance from the California School Board Association on implementation of the law, which advises case-by-case consideration of specific requests for compliance with the law.
Completing a set of recognitions begun at the previous meeting, eight students were recognized for their achievements and positive attitudes, as part of National Disabilities Awareness Month. They were:
Landers Elementary School: Ryan Miller
Morongo Valley Elementary School: Hillary Robinson
Oasis Elementary School: Krystal Perez
Onaga Elementary School: Michael Lenz
Twentynine Palms Elementary School: Heylia Donham
Yucca Mesa Elementary School: Fernando Sanchez
La Contenta Middle School: Sara Albert
Yucca Valley High School: Jordan Wheeler
Action Agenda items—declaration of the week of October 21-25 as “Red Ribbon Week”, a completion notice for relocatable classrooms at Joshua Tree Elementary School, and Fitnessgram waivers for 13 students—were passed unanimously without discussion.