Selective enrollment hurts Dickinson

Sofia Rose, Editor in Chief

The football season was cancelled because of lack of players – So where are the football players? For that matter, where are the singers? Where are the actors? The band members? The answer may lie in the plethora of selective enrollment schools in the district that students can choose to attend into instead of going to Dickinson, their feeder school. Since these alternative schools started opening their doors in the 1980s, Dickinson’s enrollment has been consistently falling. Today, there 593 students enrolled at our high school. This is simply not a large enough pool to draw from when creating teams, choruses, casts, and bands.

Just like the last year’s cancellation of the school play and the elimination of the marching band, the cancellation of football was a foreseeable event. It is not the fault of any student or group of students here at Dickinson. It is a result of the selective enrollment schools taking the students that could go to plain old public schools. As the numbers of the selective enrollment schools continues to climb, the funding allocated to those schools climbs as well. When more of the state education budget goes to these schools, they are able to provide more programs and services for their students, and then their enrollment numbers go up. This, in turn, draws more of the highest achieving kids. It’s a positive feedback loop that repeats over and over. And Dickinson? We aren’t in the loop.