Burlington Community Schools continue to see a decline in enrollment

BURLINGTON, Iowa - In the last 36 years the district has lost 1,400 students and just in the last year 170 students.

Parents think there are a variety of reasons.

"If a lot of the families are leaving, I'm guessing it's because it's a lot of the some of the recent crime and also probably jobs," said Corina Shipp, parent.

"The lack of communication between the school and the parent," said Andrea Lane, parent.

Superintendent Pat Coen says there are many factors, one being the poverty rate in Burlington, it's 40% higher than the state average, and the lack of job opportunities for those who have a higher education.

"We're sitting at 20% of our population working with a bachelors degree, so for every 10 kids that we're sending to the University that do very well we only have a job for two of them," said Coen.

It shows in the population, Burlington's lost about 20% of it's residents, the problem is directly tied to state funding.

"In 1981 we had I believe 19 school buildings in Burlington Community School District and now were setting with 5 elementary, there's 2 middle schools a high school and a JMAC so we have less than half the number of school buildings we used to have and that's because of declining enrollment," said Coen.