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A somewhat contentious and pointed discussion between members of the North Adams School Board and community activists Charlie and Jean Brune ended abruptly Tuesday night when president Tim Ehlerding called enrollment figures at North Adams "not legitimate stats."
The Brunes presented members with two sheets of statistics they say showed North Adams has lost just over 300 students in the past three years, a drop of 14 percent while the labor force during that same time has fallen only 4.07 percent.
Subtracting the labor force loss from the drop in public school enrollments, the Brunes said North Adams showed a 243% loss while Adams Central, South Adams, St. Joe, Zion, and Wyneken all showed improvement (figures were not available from St. Peter's-Immanuel).
Of the schools in Adams County listed, Adams Central and Zion were the only ones with improved student enrollment, according to state statistics, with AC at 5.29 percent and Zion at 7.9 percent.
Ehlerding interjected that comparing North Adams figures to Zion was hardly fair, noting that an extra student or two at Zion "might be a four or five percent increase."
The Brunes challenged the school board to form a committee to look at the statistics.