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ECISD Officials Search for Solutions to Overcrowding 8/6/12
CBS 7 Reporter
August 6, 2012
Odessa, TX - With massive over-crowding on some campuses, school officials may have no choice but to shift students to other schools; possibly moving boundary lines to find space for every student.
The biggest problems are in West Odessa and to the North, where new housing developments and apartment complexes mean an explosion of school-aged kids.
Cavazos Elementary on the west side of town closed enrollment after just one day and Barbara Jordan is pushing it. Now ECISD officials are desperate to solve the problem.
"We are working very hard to make sure that all kids get to go to school as close as possible to where they live," says ECISD Spokesperson Mike Adkins.
But even with a school across the street, some students will be forced to go elsewhere
“That's one of the sad things were seeing with this,” explains ECISD Board President Ray Beatty. “If somebody is just moving to town or is just able to get registered at this point, finding out that a neighborhood school is not available to you."
"Cavazos is the only one closed at this point, we know Jordan is going to be crowded," says Adkins.
The most immediate solution would be adding even more portable buildings at some schools, but even that has limitations. Another option is re-drawing boundary lines, but while that may distribute students more equally it doesn't keep them in their neighborhood.
"We are working very hard to make sure that all kids get to go to school where they want, as close as possible to where they live," Adkins claims.
A possible long-term solution could be building new schools.
"That may include new building in different parts of town or multiple parts of town," explains Adkins. "New building would obviously have to include new boundary lines as well, that's just part of it, it all goes hand in hand. It also is going to take place, or need to take place if there's no new building."
“All of this study is involving not just overcrowding,” Beatty says. “It's looking at the district as a whole and trying to find some solutions that would best take care of these needs that were seeing."
The board will hear from a team of community leaders on Wednesday at 6:00 pm in the ECISD boardroom to discuss the possible solutions. Adkins says the board will decide within a week how they plan to move forward, whether it be with a bond issue to support new schools or not.