School district enrollment expecting an uptick in 2014-2015

07/25/2014 12:11 PM

07/27/2014 12:23 PM

The Los Banos Unified School District is expecting the student body to remain shy of the 10,000 mark.

Superintendent Steve Tietjen said the district is expecting 150 more students in 2014-15. On the first day of class last year, there were 9,622 students. That number was 9,743 in 2012.

Student growth is assessed by calculating birth rates five years earlier and construction of new houses. However, an emerging rental market in Los Banos has made the calculation more difficult, according to Tietjen.

The district was expecting home building to return this summer, resulting in more households with children. However, predictions have fallen short.

“I’m not seeing a lot of new housing,” Tietjen said, adding that the growth in the student population appears to be coming from rental units.

Tietjen said based on the number of advancing eighth-graders and incoming sixth-graders, Los Banos Junior High School is projected to have 50 fewer students. The seventh- and eighth-grade school had 1,570 students at peak enrollment last year. The junior high was built for 900.

District officials have plans to build a middle school or junior high on 15 acres south of Prairie Springs Drive and east of Badger Flat Road, south of Target. The state of California will ultimately determine when the new school gets built. The district needs matching funding, and the money will likely only become available if an education bond is placed on the ballot and approved by voters.

Editor's Choice Videos

Join the Discussion

Merced Sun-Star is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service