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.