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Student Enrollment On The Decrease At Mother Lode Schools

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Sonora, CA — Tuolumne and Calaveras County schools have been losing students this decade.

Since 2000 Tuolumne County enrollment is down 15 percent and Calaveras County is down seven percent.

“If you go back to the year 2000 we had almost 7,000 students and during that time we had a number of families moving up here and then commuting to places like the Central Valley,” says Calaveras County Schools Superintendent John Brophy. “We found that as the housing bubble increased and prices went up 15-40 percent in just a few years, families couldn’t afford to buy those homes as easily.”

John Brophy - Calaveras County School Superintendent (4/1/08).

Brophy says the economy has also hurt the schools, as many families have left for jobs outside of the region.

Tuolumne County Schools Superintendent Joe Silva has made similar observations.

“One of the main things that we are aware of is that young families tend to go down to the Valley for less expensive homes or less expensive rent,” says Silva. “There are also more jobs in the Valley then there are up here.”

A decrease in students has meant less money for the individual school districts. It has also led to a decrease in the need for school personnel.

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