1 in 3 of Catalina Foothills School District Residents Opt Out of CFSD16.
The Catalina Foothills community has been long recognized for its outstanding school district. So, why is 1 in every 3 district families opting out of CFSD16?
The answer can be found by asking the families who left. While every family has unique circumstances, their complaints can be largely categorized into three main concerns: Truth, Trust, and Transparency.
Whether our concern is for the families we’ve lost or those of us still here, it’s time to stop the flow out of CFSD and to make our district the anchor it once was for the Foothills community by restoring truth, trust, and transparency on the CFSD Governing Board.
A comparison to other area districts shows CFSD16 has the 3rd highest exit rate in Pima county.
State reporting also shows where CFSD students are coming from. We might expect CFSD’s nearby neighboring district Tanque Verde to lose students to CFSD. It’s actually the opposite. Out of the seven area schools listed on the report, TV residents are choosing CFSD least of all ranking it dead last in 7th place out of 7 other public school choices in Pima County.
CFSD has also lost appeal to its other two neighboring districts. TUSD students choose Sunnyside over CFSD and Amphi residents choose Flowing Wells before sending their kids to CFSD. This report shows that not a single district chooses CFSD first among competing public school alternatives.
While some Foothills families opt for private or home-school options, they also choose other non-select public school districts. CFSD is losing students to TUSD, Flowing Wells, Amphi, and Marana in addition to about a dozen other public charter schools.
Most districts compete with multiple private or charter school options in their district boundaries which lure away district residents. That doesn’t apply to CFSD16 since there are no charter schools and just one private school in its district area
The private school is a small elementary-only religious school. So it can’t be that there are more options than in other districts. Perhaps there’s something happening internally at CFSD rather than external factors to blame for the high exit rate of district residents.
To turn this trend around, we are advocating for future board leaders who will tell the truth, re-gain our trust, and offer transparency to the public. If we don’t change the way the Board operates now, we can only expect more residents to flee CFSD.
Sources Note: The rate of withdrawal is equal to the total number of K-12 district residents divided by district residents enrolled at Catalina Foothills School District.
Population statistics can be found here.
District Enrollment statistics can be found here.
Student Residency stats can be found here.
Note: Since preschool enrollment is not reported to the state, only K-12 students are included in this assessment.
Also, open-enrollment reporting uses ADM (average daily membership) which is distinct from the actual number of students. Where possible, open enrollment data was obtained directly from each district.