Thursday, March 01, 2007

Numbers To Ponder

Caledonia pays roughly $13 million in local property taxes towards Racine Unified. Local property taxes account for about 27% of Unified's revenue. So if you factor in state and federal taxes, Caledonia residents pay about $48 million for Unified. According to the 2000 census, Caledonia had 23,614 residents. Of those, 4530 were between the ages of 5 and 17. According to official estimates, Caledonia has had a population increase of about 5%. At present, about 4,750 Caledonia children are eligible to attend RUSD schools. If all of these students attended Unified, Caledonia will have paid about $2,736 per child in local property taxes, and $10,123 in total taxes per student. Now we know that all of Caledonia's RUSD eligible students do not attend Unified. By some credible estimates, only 40% of these students are attending RUSD schools. If that estimate is accurate, then Caledonia taxpayers are paying about $6,840 in local taxes, and $25,307 in total taxes (local, state, federal) per student attending Unified.

Now Racine. Racine pays roughly$23 million in local property taxes for RUSD and about $85 million in all taxes going towards Unified. According to the 2000 census, Racine had a population of 81,855, of which 15,618 were between the ages of 5 and 17. Estimates are that Racine's population has decreased by about 2%. At present, about 15,300 children are RUSD eligible. If all those students attend RUSD schools, the local property tax portion would be about $1,503 per student. Total taxes per student would be about $5,561. I don't have any estimates as to the percentages of Racine children who attend Unified. I am still waiting, two weeks and counting, for Unified to tell me how many children from Racine and Caledonia are enrolled in Unified schools. More to come.

7 comments:

Brenda said...

Please contact Mr. Roger Dickson, he knows the number of how many Caledonia children are currently in the distict.

I have heard him say, repeatedly, to different groups that Caledonia residents makes up approximately 10% of the district current student population, or 2200 students.

What he will not tell you is how many Caledonia children do NOT attend RUSD schools.

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks Brenda. I have been told that RUSD does not know where their students reside. They are compiling the numbers now. I find it simply amazing that they can not answer this simple question in a day or two. It is now two weeks and they say they will need about ten more days. No, I am not making this up.

Kathy said...

Denis, if you asked for these numbers via an open records request, the district has 10 business days to honor your request. If they fail to comply, you can go to the Racine County courthouse and file a writ of mandemus to force them to comply.(I have a friend who has been through this) :)

Denis Navratil said...

Thanks Kathy. I was told that they were not required to provide this info to me, but they will anyway. I was told that they do not have the info, but are in the process of gathering the info. That is why it will take longer than ten days. So at this point I will wait patiently. But I am still amazed that they don't know where their students live.

Kathy said...

Denis, may I suggest that if you haven't already done so, ask for this information as a records request. Its simple...just type up a letter saying that you would like to open records request the following information...date it, sign it, then mail it (or drop it off at central office). if you're going to wait the 10 days anyway, then you've got nothing to lose. If you're simply going to wait on their kind hearts to provide the information you could be waiting for a very long time. Ultimately, you can do what you want, I'm just making a suggestion. :)

Anonymous said...

Cannot the Department of Public Instruction provide that information to you, Denis?

Brenda said...

That is a good question; the DPI website allows the user to run a demographic report by grade, gender, race/ethnicity, English language proficiency, disability status and poverty status. Alas, you cannot run a demographic report based on the student’s home address.

Apparently, where the children live is not tracked by the DPI.