By Susan Ovans
A new grassroots coalition known as WIN (Women in Nantasket) contacted the Times last week regarding data that members are compiling about the Hull Public Schools.
The 22-page presentation contains statistics that public schools submit each year to the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education [DESE]. WIN members used these numbers to develop charts that depict enrollment trends not just in Hull but in neighboring communities and others that DESAE deems comparable to Hull; how the school department spends its money; and facilities usage.
The group said it’s compiling research data to “better understand the financial challenges Hull schools are facing” and to give local leaders and residents some of the information they need to begin talking about and planning for the future.
The Times agreed to publish the document on our website so that our readers would have convenient access to the data whenever they have the time and inclination to digest it.
We found WIN’s information both illuminating and, in one way, reassuring. Hull is not the only community that is facing declining enrollment. In fact, very few towns have increasing school populations.
But, as the data shows, Hull’s school population is declining at a far more accelerated rate than our neighbors’. [If the current pace holds, Hull schools will be down 100 students within five years, according to WIN data.] Yet school officials have yet to take concrete action to plan for the student population, both in the short- and long-term.
A lot of time and effort went into WIN’s school research. We’re happy to be the platform to make it publicly available. To view the document, go to the Times website home page, bottom left. Under Straight from the Source, click on WIN schools data.