Canyon Hills Elementary Students

Canyon Hills is the community on the far-eastern reaches of Lake Elsinore. It's most visible fr...

Canyon Hills is the community on the far-eastern reaches of Lake Elsinore. It's most visible from Railroad Canyon Rd and Canyon Hills Rd, where the Longs Drug Store is.

Most of that community is served by the Lake Elsinore Unified School District, with students attending Cottonwood Canyon Elementary School. However a chuck of those homes at the far-eastern edge is within the Menifee Union School District, served by Evans Ranch Elementary.

Just last week, a family from Mission Viejo, located in Orange County, moved into the Canyon Hills community, but in the area served by Menifee Union. The mother of the family attended the Menifee Union School Board meeting this evening and addressed the Board of Trustees asking if her child could leave the district and attend Cottonwood Canyon.

Her argument, basically, is that several other kids living in the same neighborhood, about 10-12 others, including her nephew, all attend Cottonwood Canyon. All of these kids live inside the Menifee Union School District, but their parents mistakenly applied them to Lake Elsinore Unified. What's worse is that Lake Elsinore Unified didn't catch this.

canyon hills map
Click map to see a larger size

In the map above, the red line is the border between Menifee Union School District and Lake Elsinore Unified School District. The darker gray shaded area is the City of Lake Elsinore. The light red shaded area is where the 10-12 kids reside. They're now attending Cottonwood Canyon, but should be attending Evans Ranch.

Trustee Peters noted that each child brings in state money. I don't know specifically how much, but I do know it's between $5,000 and $10,000 per year. If 10-12 Menifee Union kids are attending Lake Elsinore Unified, then that means our district has lost anywhere from $50,000 to $120,000 a year because of this convenience. If we had those students in Menifee schools, that extra money could pay for staffing and facilities.

Compounding the matter, Governor Schwarzenegger is recommending a 10% cutback in public school spending, which will cause Menifee Union to make cutbacks in services. We need those 10-12 students at Evans Ranch.

The mother, of course, is arguing on the stand point that it's much easier for her to drive her child to Cottonwood Canyon than to Evans Ranch. It's always tough to argue against hardship, but then again, we just recently voted for higher taxes to pay for more schools, and here we find out that some $50,000 to $120,000 that supposed to be ours is leaking out to another district.

In the Board Meeting, Dan Wood, assistant superintendent, explained that he's already been in contact with his counterpart at Lake Elsinore Unified, and it sounds like those students will be allowed to finish out the year at Cottonwood Canyon, but will transfer to Evans Ranch next year.

Menifee Union is planning to build an elementary school within that far-eastern area of Cottonwood Canyon.