Trustees: Bond should go forward

Trustees: Bond ought to go ahead

A majority of Ector County ISD board of trustees agree {that a} bond wants to maneuver ahead and a few are questioning a demographic research that confirmed progress flatlining and declining.

Throughout a Feb. 14 board workshop, trustees heard a report from Davis Demographics on a not too long ago accomplished research of Odessa and Ector County.

The research supplied a 10-year enrollment forecast from faculty yr 2023 by way of faculty yr 2033. The agency researches present faculty enrollment, residential growth initiatives, start charges, and mobility elements to investigate after which create a forecast.

The board recap mentioned forecasts are most correct for the primary 5 years of the evaluation and, after that, circumstances/circumstances grow to be harder to foretell. The agency’s analysis, as a result of lack of college students throughout COVID and the world’s lack of inhabitants over the previous few years, exhibits faculty enrollment has slowed and is predicted to stay comparatively regular by way of the subsequent few years, the recap mentioned.

Past that, enrollment might start to slowly decline with out an financial choose up. Operating an up to date research in one-to-two years would supply a greater indication of these financial elements going ahead.

Dennis Jones

Trustee Dennis Jones mentioned Midland not too long ago accomplished a demographic research that confirmed the exact opposite of the one performed for ECISD.

“I’ve requested the superintendent to have our demographer double test our outcomes as a result of the Midland and Odessa economies are so intently tied collectively,” Jones mentioned.

The bond committee will make its advice to the board June 20 and trustees would name for an election Aug. 15 for a November election.

“There’s little doubt that the present excessive colleges are overcrowded and that’s definitely one thing to think about, even when the inhabitants is projected to remain flat. However I don’t have an opinion on which approach I’ll vote on that but till I hear the advice of the committee,” Jones mentioned.

He added that he did have questions in regards to the demographic research. Jones was ailing the night time it was introduced to the board and was unable to attend the assembly, however has studied it “very extensively.”

“I had some questions, particularly after studying the one which Midland had carried out that got here up with the completely different outcomes, so proper now it stays to be seen if theirs was fallacious, or ours was incorrect,” Jones mentioned.

Delma Abalos

Board member Delma Abalos mentioned she thinks the district ought to go ahead with a bond and mentioned quite a lot of questions had been raised in regards to the demographic research.

Abalos is worried that the report is flawed. She added that folks on the bond committee had questions in regards to the report, as properly.

“I don’t agree with it and it’s not that I’m an professional, it’s that I’ve lived right here all my life and so do have questions and issues in regards to the research itself so I don’t need to not go ahead with at the very least the committee and the research of the bond till we are able to resolve this,” Abalos mentioned.

She added that in the event that they don’t construct new colleges, they should repair objects just like the plumbing and electrical work in a lot of them.

“I believe we do want some new colleges, but when nothing else we have to at the very least repair the colleges that want it — the actually older colleges like Ector and Nimitz and Bonham and a few of the elementaries the place the plumbing is so outdated,” Abalos mentioned.

Expertise upgrades are additionally a part of what the district ought to be doing.

Abalos and Superintendent Scott Muri mentioned it doesn’t appear to them that the economic system has slowed down any. She’d like a extra thorough clarification of the research.

“I believe we should always go forward with the bond as a result of there’s issues that we as a district can’t afford to do as a result of it’s approach too many colleges and it’ll take us endlessly if we strive doing separately however I’m not satisfied additionally that we don’t want extra colleges. Ultimately, I actually would love some clarification on the research,” Abalos mentioned.

She added in a textual content message that the district wants a Profession and Expertise constructing and that’s whatever the research. Abalos mentioned Odessa and Permian excessive colleges are additionally bursting on the seams.

Dr. Steve Brown

President Steve Brown mentioned the wants are nonetheless there and so they’re not going away. Brown added that the bond committee has the knowledge; allow them to “digest it and see what their advice is.”

“From the place I sit, we most likely nonetheless must go ahead,” Brown mentioned.

With the district’s getting older faculty buildings and the necessity to decrease the inhabitants significantly on the excessive colleges, even with the projected inhabitants they nonetheless want one other highschool.

“However that shall be one thing for the bond committee to check and determine on. I stay up for their advice no matter that is perhaps,” Brown mentioned.

Donna Smith

Board member Donna Smith mentioned additionally mentioned they should go ahead with a bond.

“Our colleges aren’t the place the children reside, which implies that the colleges close to the place kids truly reside are painfully overcrowded. On the west facet, Downing is at 112% of its capability whereas Fly is at 119%. But when all the kids who reside in these two attendance zones truly bought to go to the college closest to them, each colleges can be 140% above their bodily capability,” Smith mentioned in an e mail.

“Jordan and Buice have comparable overcrowding. If all the children who reside in Buice’s attendance zone went to that college, it will be at 156% capability. To offer you an thought of how far the county has grown previous the place our colleges are literally situated, a center faculty youngster dwelling on the western fringe of the county has to journey nearly 11 miles to get to Crockett and 18 miles to get to Ector. Even when we’re not predicted to develop sooner or later, we might do quite a lot of constructing and nonetheless not accommodate the expansion that’s already occurred,” Smith wrote.

Tammy Hawkins

Trustee Tammy Hawkins mentioned as a taxpayer she thinks they need to proceed towards a bond, however extra clarification of the demographic research is required.

She added that folks must stroll by way of the colleges to see what the circumstances are like.

Hawkins mentioned she is happy with the attendance on the bond committee conferences.

“It’s simply so good to see the assist of the neighborhood. I believe that’s a very good factor, too,” she mentioned.

Muri mentioned colleges are overcrowded right now and the demographic research doesn’t have an effect on that.

“We’ve got a number of colleges that want extra elbow room. Our center colleges are at capability and in order that’s right now’s numbers. The demographic research doesn’t have an effect on what’s occurring right now. As well as, half of our colleges are 61 years of age and older. These colleges want important renovation; they want repairs; electrical work; plumbing work. That infrastructure work is necessary for an getting older facility. Once more, the demographic research has no have an effect on upon that. These are wants that we have now right now,” Muri mentioned in his media name Feb. 22.

Dr. Scott Muri

“We’ve got profession and technical schooling wants. We’re turning away a whole bunch of scholars from our profession and technical schooling programming as a result of we wouldn’t have the house for these packages, and so we should have a CTE facility that meets the wants of the children we have now right now. For all of these causes the work of the bond committee is important proper now as a result of the children which might be in our colleges right now have wants right now and we all know that these wants are solely going to be exacerbated over time,” Muri mentioned.

The following three years is type of a flat line earlier than a decline is seen, however Muri mentioned that decline is actually small — a couple of hundred college students annually.

“We need to do that research yearly for the subsequent couple of years simply to ensure that the pandemic impact is absolutely understood. I believe proper now none of us actually absolutely perceive how the pandemic has affected the circulate of individuals and selections that people are making to maneuver right into a neighborhood or out of a neighborhood. We definitely need to do it once more for the subsequent couple of years to ensure we have now legitimate, dependable, correct info,” Muri mentioned.

“The demographic research is one piece that we take a look at. We additionally take a look at census information. From a bond perspective, we take a look at our facility information; we take a look at our monetary information; so quite a lot of elements we use to tell the selections we make as a corporation so not simply that research. That’s not the one driver of selections in our system,” he mentioned.

Author: ZeroToHero

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