OTBL-Math 4 Morons

There's a post from the Uber Rationalists over at OTBL ( See below ) that uses the following logic to
calculate the cost per pupil of the recently passed referendum.

Last year's enrollment = 2,692

This year's enrollment = 2,720

New Students = 28

Cost of Referendum $9.2600,000 / 28 = $3,307,143

Now I ask you this. What kind of moron uses this kind of logic?
Answer = the OTBL kind.

Let's look at this equation Rationally.

The last new High School was built in 1965 that means it's given 42 years of service to New Richmond Students.
It's not an unreasonable assumption that the next new school buildings will be in service for 42 years.

If you take the 42 years times 2,720 students ( that's assuming zero growth ) the new school buildings will produce 114240 students-years of service. Now divide $92,600,000 by 114,240 you get a cost of
$810/student-year of service from the cost of the last referendum.
A far cry from Bauer-ville Moron Math that calculates the cost at $3,307,143 per student.

My guess is Jack Buaer wasn't paying attention in public school math class!

-------------Jack's Rant

"28 New Students in New Richmond This Year"

"The numbers are in, and enrollment in New Richmond schools didn't quite reach the level of pre-referendum predictions. Superintendent Morrie Veilleux reported that enrollment for
kindergarten through 12th grade came in at 2,720. That compared with 2,692 last year at the same time, or a 1 percent rise in total enrollment. Prior to last year's successful building referendum in the District, projected enrollment was 2,761 for this school year, according to a Power Point presentation by school officials.

Those original projections predicted 2.5 percent enrollment hikes over the next few years, although critics claim the stalling housing market will ensure far slower growth.
Interestingly, District enrollment has steadily declined since the first day (Aug. 20) count of 2,774. The numbers fall as families adjust their education plans and as seasonal employees leave the area. The Aug. 27 count stood at 2,750 for K-12.
The above is in this week's New Richmond News under a story headlined "Student Numbers

Rise 1 percent in New Richmond",

Don't ya love this?

These 28 new little rascals are going to cost alot of money. $92.6 million worth or about $3,307,143 per kid.

Even mroe amazing is that at the recent Annual Meeting of the District, Morrie Veilluex was

quoted in the same New Richmond News as expecting between 50-75 new students. Not only

does he have problems with projecting from year to year on growth projections, but he does not

even know how many kids are currently in the existing schools.

What a complete joke!"


Anonymous said...

How come the enrollment numbers both say last year? Typo?

Shouldn't the total cost of the school figure in the interest on the loan? Or is the school district getting the $93 million interest free?

Ink Stained Wretch said...


You are right on both counts.

1. It was more a Pasto than a typo but you are right, thanks for the correction.

2. You are also right about the interest.

The main point however is that it's absolutely mindless to claim each of the 28 new students cost $3Million.

Roadkill said...

I agree that dividing the referendum costs by the annual increase in enrollment is silly. Far better arguements can be made regarding the fiscal insanity of a small farming community of 8000 voting to fund the largest school referendum in Wisconsin history.

One of the arguements in favor of the referendum involved projections of rapid future growth in school district enrollment. The counter arguement pointed to the historical numbers, which showed a 350 student increase from 1979 to 2007. So the question remains: why increase capacity by over 1000 students when such enrollment may be decades away?

Just to be accurate, the current increase in New Richmond School District enrollment stands at 21 more than last year. That is far less than 1% growth. At such a pace, it will take over 40 years to fill the new schools we are building.

Sunny Badger said...

When New Richmond went into vote for the referrendum, was the current housing market situation happening? No. Isn't this arguing over hindsight. The deal has been done, the horse is out of the barn and people in New Richmond will make due with the situation as it comes along.

I havedn't heard anybody clamouring for a recall referendum.

Roadkill said...


I have stated before that I accept the results of the vote and that the people of New Richmond will have to live with it.

I just worry about the large number of people who may lose their homes through a combination of a lousy local economy, sub-prime mortgage adjustments, and skyrocketing taxes.

The idea of a recall referendum may actually find some voice come December when next year's tax bills get posted.