What is five-year averaging?
Five-year averaging is critical to LPS. It is a funding method put in place by the Colorado Legislature years ago to assist districts with declining enrollment manage down spending as their student populations decrease.
Declining enrollment districts like LPS may average the current year's funded pupil count with funded pupil counts from the last four years and then use the average for funding purposes. It allows districts like LPS to delay the negative impact of declining enrollment over time.
Why is five-year averaging so important to LPS?
Thanks to five-year averaging, LPS continues to get funding for pupils we no longer have. Five-year averaging allows LPS to save jobs over time that would no longer exist if the funding followed the pupils in real time.
Could there be other impacts of five-year averaging to LPS?
The reverse happens when declining enrollment districts begin to increase in enrollment again. Should LPS district enrollment stabalize or begin to increase over time:
- More students would be in the schools immediately.
- But, the per-pupil funding for current students would continue to, in essence, arrive four years later.
- This trend would continue until the funding equalizes with the actual funded pupil count.
View five-year averaging scenario.