Local News

Redmond Schools Sees Stagnant Population Growth

REDMOND, OR -- Redmond Schools expects to have a budget problem very soon. State funding is based on the number of students attending district schools. But Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline says student numbers remain flat, while expenses increase. "The student population in Redmond is not growing. And that’s really hard for people to wrap their heads around," he tells KBND News, "Everybody’s like, ‘Well, we’re growing like crazy, so certainly our kids are growing as well.’ But people are ignoring the fact that we have lots and lots of retired people who move in to Redmond."

And, Cline says, state lawmakers may cut some of its funding, "What we’re hearing is that they’re tired of increasing K-12 budgets and that they’d like to start spending money on other things, which I understand. And that means that over time, we’re going to have to reduce."

There's another issue, as well, "We’re in a real demographic decline right now; people are just having fewer children over time. One great example of this is when Ridgeview was built in 2008, there were roughly 29,000 people in the town, and we had roughly 2,200 high school kids. Now, we have almost 40,000 people in Redmond right now. And ,if you add up Redmond, Ridgeview and RPA - the proficiency academy, we have about 2,200 high school kids." Dr. Cline doesn't believe the equation will change much anytime soon, "Our demographic projections - we hired a professional company on this, Davis Demographics - and they’re telling us, ‘Over the next ten years, you’re going to grow about 500 kids. It’s going to be at the elementary level. And you’re actually going to lose 2% of your students at the high school, over time.’"

As KBND News reported last week, RSD is considering a proposal to consolidate Redmond and Ridgeview high schools, in an effort to reduce costs and manage renovations needed at RHS. Dr. Cline says other cost-cutting measures are also on the table, and voters will be asked to approve a bond measure in November of 2024 to pay for construction projects. The district plans to poll the community in January, to gauge support for the various proposals. 

 

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