Western Slope schools losing students to ongoing natural-gas downturn
The ongoing downturn in natural gas drilling on Colorado’s Western Slope is taking a toll on local school districts, according to the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, which cites a 13-percent drop in students in Garfield County School District No. 16, which serves Parachute and Battlement Mesa.
That decline in enrollment matches a 13-percent decline in De Beque School District 49-JT, where administrators hope for more students by October when the district must submit its numbers to the state. Each student is reportedly worth about $11,000 in state funding in De Beque.
Garfield County schools were experiencing about a 10-percent-a-year increase in enrollment during the most recent natural-gas boom, according to the Sentinel. Other school districts in oil and gas country aren’t being hit quite so hard by the recent downturn.
Enrollment for Meeker School District Re-1 in Rio Blanco County is actually up about 20 students, while Garfield Re-2 School District, which serves the communities from Rifle to New Castle, is only down about 40 students out of a total of 5,000.
Some administrators quoted in the story directly pointed to the recent drilling downturn associated with global recession and drop in commodity prices, but they added they were already seeing signs of a turnaround and that it’s all part of the ebb and flow of the cyclical oil and gas industry.
Got a tip? Freelance story pitch? Send us an e-mail. Follow The Colorado Independent on Twitter.
Like this story? Steal it! Feel free to republish it in part or in full, just please give credit to The Colorado Independent and add a link to the original.
SIGN UP FOR OUR WEEKLY NEWSLETTER
The Colorado Criminal Defense Bar (CCDB) and the Community College of Denver (CCD) Paralegal Program are holding a public debate for the candidates seeking the position […]Read More
Republicans running for Colorado governor would— and wouldn’t— ban bump stocks, and one of them gets out front on gun violence
Amid a gun policy debate gripping the nation in the wake of multiple mass shootings, one illuminating aspect can be found in the Republican primary […]Read More