Just how overcrowded are the local schools?

Though the graphic purports to be about 344 schools the numbers add up to 345 schools. Also, the ratios in the size of the school houses is far out of perspective. Additionally, there is an October 2016 report on school capacities available online, but we’ve yet to find an October 2017 report.

Let’s put that in perspective.

A story and graphic in the morning paper dutifully informs readers that 344 Clark County public schools are at or exceed the number of students for which they were designed, and reports that a “majority” the county’s schools exceed capacity. What it doesn’t say is whether that majority is 51 percent or 99 percent. For lack of a number perspective is lost.

Actually, the school district says it has 356 schools, including various specialty schools, so nearly 97 percent of schools are at or exceed capacity. But having too many schools at less than capacity would be a waste of taxpayers’ capital expenditures. So just how bad is the crowding?

According to an October 2016 report, on which the newspaper account is purportedly based, elementary schools are at 127.6 percent of capacity, while middle schools are at only 89.5 percent of capacity and high schools at 109.5 percent. The district has plans to open seven new elementary schools in the coming year and expand a number of existing schools. More are on the drawing board. It is unclear whether portable buildings are considered part of a school’s “program capacity.”

Those two schools that are more than 200 percent capacity are Walter Long Elementary at 216 percent capacity but with 21 portable buildings and Elaine Wynn Elementary at 210 percent but with 20 portables.

You can see the school-by-school ratio of capacity to enrollment on the district’s website.

At one point the newspaper seems to conflate student-teacher ratio to school capacity, but that’s an entirely different topic.

This is a scene grab of the Clark County high school capacity report.



14 comments on “Just how overcrowded are the local schools?

  1. robertleebeers says:

    Since you have probably never bothered to visit any of the high schools Thomas, this is yet another column without any basis other than your own opinion. It isn’t just the ratio of students to rooms you have to consider. There is also the all too often ignored fire code, the cheap and often non-working air conditioners where 42 sweaty teenagers are crammed into a room designed to hold 22, and the list would go on, if you ever bothered to actually check with those most intimately involved in dealing with these conditions, the teachers. But… that would challenge your beliefs, woundn’t it.

  2. Just relating the numbers put out by the school district itself.

  3. Steve says:

    My high school had no air conditioners.
    And Massachusetts had school days in excess of 90 degrees with 100% humidity.
    Also had 40+ students in classrooms designed for 20.

    AND Massachusetts has what is (and was then) considered among the best school systems in the the country.
    A big difference is schools in Massachusetts are run by the TOWNS not the county. Meaning they are broken up into small districts that have to answer to town councils and town populations.

    Teaching students under those conditions is totally achievable because parents aren’t locked out of a huge bureaucracy like they are here. 5th largest school district in a place with 2,000,000 people is a complete joke.
    Break it up.

  4. Athos says:

    Right on the money Steve! Hi my dad we were taught by pinheads in the Department of Education in Washington DC.

  5. Athos says:

    ” we also weren’t taught” by elitists in far away Washington DC

  6. Rincon says:

    Control by local authorities is fine, to a point, but funding this way doesn’t work so well. “In San Perlita, Texas, the poorest school district in the United States, the median annual household income is just $16,384, or less than a third of the national median income level. A typical household in the Scarsdale, New York, school district earns $238,478 per year.” http://247wallst.com/special-report/2015/09/25/richest-and-poorest-school-districts/

    It’s bad enough that we warehouse our poor in discrete communities, but ensuring that their children receive get a grossly underfunded education might be a bit much, even for a Conservative.

  7. Steve says:

    Again, Massachusetts has the answer, Rincon. (WBUR is a PBS radio station)
    And, since that state consistently does well with public education, it is an example for others to follow. Not in amounts of money, rather how available money is distributed.


  8. Athos says:

    It ain’t the money they can teach these kids. But that always seems to be the elitists answer. ” just throw money! More and more money!”
    We sure wouldn’t want to make the parents responsible, That’s what the State’s for!

  9. deleted says:

    Tell the wealthiest people in the country that money isn’t the answer to educating their kids and then make them educate their kids in schools with the least resources.

    In fact, make it a state law that anyone who claims money isn’t the answer to improvement in education, must have their kids put in schools with the fewest resources.

  10. WSJ: “Despite the district’s challenges, San Perlita has relatively good education outcomes. The high school graduation rate was 93.8% in 2010 …”

  11. deleted says:

    A school in the poorest district doesn’t necessarily mean it was a school with the fewest resources.

    But I’m all for forcing the wealthiest families in Texas to be educated there if they claim that money means nothing to educational outcomes.

  12. Rincon says:

    Great anecdote, Thomas.

    I like your way of thinking, deleted. I wouldn’t force anyone out of their district, but we could certainly limit total school expenditures to insure against inefficient use of funds. In Chicago, it would help even out property values a bit.

  13. Steve says:

    This is what Massachusetts solved by setting the funding floor statewide.

    Clark County, NV should not have the 5th largest school district in the nation.

    Break it up.

  14. Steve says:

    Because the school money is being spent so wisely, we need to spend even more wisely.

    How about, get a skill first, then go teach the professors!
    Once you know the value and potential of your skill, the degree actually means something.

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