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Greenfield's New Open Enrollment Seats Could Exceed 50

The Greenfield School Board approved 51 new seats for the 2013-14 school year, after approving just 14 a year ago.

As many as 51 new students from outside the district could be in Greenfield classrooms during the 2013-14 school year after the Greenfield School Board approved that number of Open Enrollment seats Monday.

The number figures to help maintain the district’s current staffing and program offerings, according to administration.

School Board member Russ Spahn voted against allowing that many seats, citing concerns about class sizes becoming too large. Len Cich cast the board’s other dissenting vote.

A year ago, the School Board approved 14 new Open Enrollment seats, one at each grade level.

The Open Enrollment state program allows students to attend school in a district other than the district of residence. Districts use class size limits based on pupil-teacher ratios to determine available open enrollment spaces.

There is a huge financial aspect to Open Enrollment. The more Open Enrollment seats a district has, the less cuts to the revenue cap a district has to make under the state’s funding procedures.

Open Enrollment seats generate about $6,445 per pupil, according to administration.

There will be 10 available Open Enrollment seats for both junior kindergarten and ninth grade, no more than five at any other grade level and none in neither the eighth or 12th grades.

Open Enrollment begins Feb. 4, and ends at 4 p.m. April 30. Apply online on the Department of Public Instruction website.

For further information about the Department of Public Instruction's Open Enrollment program, click here.

Interested in sending your child to a Greendale school? Here's the latest on that district's Open Enrollment availability.

Lisa January 25, 2013 at 08:10 PM
Greenfield should follow suit with Greendale. Wait and see how many new residents are students before the classrooms are overfilled.
Ann January 25, 2013 at 10:08 PM
Just when you thought this school board was getting their act together. Seriously? We have issues now with students being late for school, respect issues, and now they are going to increase class sizes and allow more out of city students. Not saying that all are bad - but we need to deal with all the students we have. You have ones that show up to school in inappropriate clothing, pants down around their a$$$$, girls showing more than they should, test scores that suck. Not enought guidance counselors in the middle school or high school. People wake up - they only reason they increased the seats was for money - it wasn't for anything else
KHD January 26, 2013 at 12:20 AM
Exactly Ann, My guess is they are trying to generate money so they can change the school start time at a cost of $200,000 yearly, instead of adding more teachers, counselors, a police liason officer and special ed faculty. They also might have to add to Administration Depending on how the new superintendent wants to align a staff. Do they know how many Greenfield residents will be attending next year?
Ann January 26, 2013 at 02:07 AM
All I can say is I am glad that my child is out of there. The student body has declined since they started opening more seats to open enrollment. Well if they are raising the open enroll seats for money for school start times - All I can say is I hope Delores Skrownek is happy when her children suffer because the class sizes will be outrageous and the teachers won't be able to control the classrooms. You get what you ask for - and they are going to get it. I will be glad when I can sell my house and get out of this town.
KHD January 26, 2013 at 05:01 AM
Maybe that is what Delores should have done, she should have moved out of town four years ago, and found a city where they start school at 9:00 am. A good parent that felt so strongly about start times, would have.
Lee January 26, 2013 at 03:41 PM
KHD--You sound like a broken record. Talk about Delores? So if the school times change are you then moving your children to another school district, since you feel so strongly about start times, as any good parent would do? I think the discussion here is Open Enrollment Seats. Try and stay focused on the issue at hand today.
Lee January 26, 2013 at 04:02 PM
The rest of Greenfield will be glad when you leave too. Especially with the attitude you have.
Lisa January 26, 2013 at 04:25 PM
"The number figures to help maintain the district's current staffing and program offerings, according to administration." I thought hat is why we pay taxes. Our city can not afford to maintain what it has now. How does bringing more kids to educate help? That is where the $6,445.00 is supposed to be going, to educate the child. Maintain Is the word used, but are we making money? What do we do next year when educating costs go up? Take in 100 kids instead of 50? I fear that Greenfield could be taking steps to being crowded, wasteful, and greedy like M.P.S. Remember that M.P.S. open enrollment parents want out of M.P.S. in the first place. Every child deserves a good school. We need to help kids find a way out of community schools that are failing, but what about kids from Franklin going to Greendale or kids from Greenfield going to Franklin? Our communities shell out money to another district. It defeats the financial benefit. This program needs help. This year our kids should write thank you letters to open enrollment families because according to the school board, we would not have enough money, programs, or staff to educate all of our children without them.
KHD January 26, 2013 at 05:24 PM
Lee- Someone has to sound like a broken record besides Dolores, she has been badgering the shool board for 4 YEARS. No, I will not move my kids to another District, they will adjust, just like all the responsible kids are doing now. As for the open enrollment, I just hope class sizes are not getting to large. Teachers have a hard enough time these days. Do we really need the money that bad? If we do, then we need to tighten our belts a little. I for one, would pay a little more if needed and if it were spent WISELY. Have to get this in, later start times is not is not the way to spend $200,000.
Ann January 26, 2013 at 05:32 PM
Serioursly thank the open enrollment students because they bring in money? Maybe so, but their education is not better. This district is not teaching the kids now - the classroom sizes are too large now. People wake up - there is 1 music teacher and 1 (ONE) guidance counselor at the middle school. The middle school has more fights than the High school. The middle school now has pregnant teenagers walking around and the kids on social media brag about it. We need our educators to teach and support our children but they can no longer do that because of the class sizes and all of the extras that they have to do.
GreenfieldParent January 26, 2013 at 06:14 PM
Your property taxes only pay about 35-40% of the cost. The rest, it used to be 66%, comes from the state. What do you do when costs keep going up? That's the problem. When the state cuts it's funding, and the school districts can't raise taxes, and they have already exhausted the savings from the "tools" (which offset the state cuts mostly), the question is "What do you do?" The answer is either try to raise taxes (which you can't), try to raise revenues doing stuff like 220, or increase class size so there aren't as many expensive teachers, or cut other stuff which they have done. What probably needs to happen is a sharing among school districts with regard to curriculum to eliminate redundancy, but that isn't the whole solution. It probably makes sense to require that ANY kid that is the district is there for the right reason and should be here. Many of the kids in open enrollment are the children of Milwaukee fire fighters, teachers, Like Ann says below, the Middle School is a wreck and the High School is getting worse. All kids and their families have to be responsible and not ruin the experience for eveybody else. If they can't, they should be gone.
Lisa January 26, 2013 at 07:47 PM
Ann, How many guidance counselors or music teachers would stop this? What teacher to student ratio would prevent this? Greenfield Parent, I think sharing among school districts sounds like a more permanent and reliable aid to our educational turmoil than counting on open enrollment expansion to fund the school districts needs.
KHD January 26, 2013 at 08:16 PM
Greendale has about 300 open enrollment students. Wow. http://greenfield.patch.com/articles/new-open-enrollment-seats-approved-for-2013-14 Maybe that is why they have a bullying problem? I don't know how sharing would work, but looking into it couldn't hurt. I know one thing, whitnall people look down at Greenfield as the slums of our city. Don't know how sharing with them would go over. Maybe our new superintendent will have some worthy suggestions.
Lee January 26, 2013 at 09:08 PM
Open enrollment is not the answer. Spending $200,000 changing the start time of schools is also not the answer. (KDH---do you really think the school board would approve such a foolish thing? If they did, I would be the first one to side with you. It is not Delores fault. It is the fault of whoever set that up in the first place) Sharing sounds good. And I agree with you, Whitnall thinks we are the slums and snubs their noses at us. Having specialized teachers/counselors, etc who could fill the much needed gaps and who could float from one school to another would be a nice way to go. Having said that, I am sure it is against someones rules somewhere. Obstacles abound. We all have to keep attending those school board meetings and keep caring. Cannot give up. I don't know what the answer is truthfully.
Lisa January 26, 2013 at 09:42 PM
All children from every area deserve the best. Why would Whitnall not want in on more shared resources? People would get over their rivalry if they had the best educational resources available to them without the risk of cuts every school year.
Ann January 26, 2013 at 09:49 PM
The high school used to share some classes with Greendale but looking at the course material for the 12-13 school year - looks like they cut that. There is a few classes for 11-12th graders can take at St Francis HS or MATC - but they have to provide their own transportation - so the district is not incurring any transportation costs for these classes. Reading some of the comments from the Greendale residents that they posted on the story about their New Walmart - they consider Greenfiled as the slums also.
Lee January 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM
They already think they have the best, so there would be no need to share. I know people who have gone to school there and taught in Whitnall and they think our side of town is the pitts. It is a shame. Greendale feels the same. (I used to live in Greendale) So it is up to us Greenfielder's to prove them wrong.
Lisa January 26, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Rivalry has its place, but it does not seem appropriate when it comes to teachers losing jobs and the state of our schools. Keep the rivalry appropriate! Every city has some "slum" to it; even in the North Shore area.
KHD January 26, 2013 at 10:58 PM
I don't know if the school board would approve early start time. My feeling is that they will wait and get the opinion of the new super. ( at least they should) I have met some parents and teachers that would be willing to give it a try, IF it doesn't cost a dime. The feeling is that the money could be best spent on additional faculty. I agree. Open enrollment is a way to generate additional revenue. Look at Greendale, 300 open enrollment kids. Thats about 2 million dollars a year. That tells me they are hurting for money. Greenfield's school board needs to look at the bigger picture before incurring bigger expenses. Greenfield should reach out and start the dialogue with other districts. I think all invloved in our neighboring Districts, have to come to the realization that sharing might be the only way to go in the future. What if, lets say Greenfield, Greendale and whitnall all changed start times, that works for a bus company? We don't know what the bus companys concerns are regarding the price hike on start times. Sooner or later, open enrollment won't be enough.
Ann January 27, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Lisa you do realize that for the music teacher the ratio is approximately 260 to1. For the guidance counselor it is the entire school population to 1.
Lisa January 27, 2013 at 01:29 AM
Ann, I was pointing out that no amount of teachers or guidance counselors can prevent teen pregnancies or end school violence. It would be great to afford many more caring educators, but ultimately it is not the educators or class size to blame for teens making poor decisions.
GreenfieldParent January 27, 2013 at 02:26 AM
My children attend a Greenfield Elementary school with a large number of open enrollment children. Those parents are involved and caring and the children are top of their classes. I'm happy to have the children of caring parents attend school with mine, they only enhance the school in academics and more.
Lisa January 27, 2013 at 02:36 AM
I agree. They are an asset.

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