A friend helped me to crystalize my thinking about what may be the largest problem with the EPISD bond approach.
The district tells us that they need money to close some schools and expand others so that the students from the closed schools have a place to learn. Student enrollment in the district has been shrinking and we are told that a large part of the problem is that homeowners are moving to the perimeters of the city and thus to different school districts.
The district’s solution is to run away from the problem instead of fixing one of the fundamental reasons for the moves.
Those of us who are, or who have been, parents of school age children know that one of the prime considerations in buying a house is the quality of the school that the children will attend. Some of us know younger parents who at one time lived in older neighborhoods and then moved into newer neighborhoods just as their children started to attend school. They moved because of their perception that the educational opportunities in the newer neighborhoods were better than in the old.
Unfortunately these younger parents were right.
Instead of investing in existing schools to see to it that they are up to standard the district has decided to run away from them.
It’s not the shiny building
As the students from Chapin told the district’s facilities advisory committee the other day, they are more concerned about having better programs and teachers than they are better buildings.
Our housing authority is fighting to provide low cost housing for those that need it. One of their methods is to see to it that they build facilities where the existing infrastructure of the neighborhood can support their housing.
Race to the bottom
The path that the district is on will lead to more and more declines in student enrollment. They need to fix our existing schools and encourage in-fill activity. We will see the benefits in many ways as we need fewer new fire stations, police, and other public facilities.
We deserve better