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Better rezoning options should be considered

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The two recent boundary proposals unnecessarily remove students living south of Wichita Trail from their neighborhood school, Liberty Elementary, and relocate them to Old Settlers Elementary. Proposal 1 shows these children then attending McKamy Middle School while Proposal 2 shows these children then attending Shadow Ridge Middle School.

Shifting this student population is unnecessary and creates additional problems. There is a slight difference between the two maps about the exact areas affected, but for this letter we will use an average of 103 elementary students and 59 middle school students affected.  This is a small number of students and does not solve the population redistribution goals that the committee was charged with addressing.

According to the information the boundary committee was provided, the current enrollment at Liberty Elementary is 788 students. With that enrollment, the building is at 80.82% capacity. L.I.S.D.’s goal is for buildings to be at 90% capacity or below. Liberty is not overcrowded. Both proposals do not replace the students removed with any new students. Removing 103 students will leave Liberty’s enrollment at 685. The building’s capacity will then be at 70.26% which is considerably below the district’s limit for building capacity.

Perhaps, by proposing these maps, the committee was attempting to provide for future growth in the Liberty Elementary area. However, due to the declining enrollment trend at Liberty Elementary, removing these children is not necessary to provide for future growth. The projected enrollment for 2015/2016—even without removing these 103 students–is 662. That is 126 students less than the current enrollment of 788. Clearly, the Liberty Elementary enrollment is on a downward trend. This will accommodate for future growth without removing the 103 students who live south of Wichita Trail.

For 2015/2016 McKamy Middle School’s projected enrollment is 1015. That will put the building at 88.26% enrollment. That is easily within L.I.S.D.’s own guidelines for building capacity. This population trend will solve McKamy’s overcrowding problems in two years without changing the current boundaries.

Removing these students is detrimental to their growth. While 87% of the student population remains at the school they think of as home, 13% of the population of Liberty is needlessly forced to relocate to an unknown environment. It is also detrimental to the school itself.  Liberty Elementary could potentially lose 5 grade level teachers, an enrichment teacher, and possibly special education teachers.

Rezoning the children who live south of Wichita Trail does not accomplish the goals the boundary committee was charged with meeting. It causes a needless disruption in the lives of those living south of Wichita Trail and their many friends at Liberty and McKamy.  Many more sensible options exist for accomplishing the goals of the boundary committee.

Tammy Lilly
Carrie Erdman
Flower Mound, TX

 

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