There are 15 public schools in Central Oahu that have students whose parents are stationed at Schofield Barracks. As many as 300 to 400 military kids could be exiting those schools over the next two years as the Army downsizes Schofield troops by 1,200 soldiers.
"It's our job to make sure we have a constant communication with them so we know exactly what to expect and when to expect it," said John Brummel, DOE Complex Area Superintendent for Oahu's Northside Central District.
Losing students means less money for the public schools they leave, about $4,000 per student under the DOE's Weighted Student Formula.
"They get money based on the number of students that attend their schools. As long as they know how many students will be there they can staff appropriately, and they can budget appropriately. Without that information they're shooting in the dark," Brummel said.
Troop downsizing will also affect student bodies at private schools. One-third of students at Hoala School come from Schofield. But Hoala's Head of Schools Linda Perry said it's too early to tell what the impact will be. Hoala regularly adjusts for the moving of military families.
"Absolutely! Some of our teachers are military too. They are here for a few years and then they're packing up and going somewhere else," she said. "Our community is familiar with that movement."
Brummel said the reduction in enrolment in his public schools will mean adjustments. Weighted Student dollars help pay for administration, teachers and custodial staff.
"The number of personnel that you have here for food service may have to be reduced some," Brummel said. "Those people can be used in other public schools. All of that will be looked at once we get the final numbers."
The DOE figures each military family averages one student per household. The cost to Hawaii schools will be clear as time goes on, now that the Army has issued its marching orders.