McKinney ISD recently completed a high school enrollment growth analysis. Click here to download the presentation, narrated by Dr. J.D. Kennedy, Superintendent of Schools. Click here to download the PDF version of the presentation.
When do you expect the high schools in McKinney ISD to reach capacity?
McKinney Boyd High School is nearing capacity with an enrollment of nearly 2,900 students and a capacity of 3,000. McKinney High School is roughly 200 students from capacity with an enrollment of 2,038 students, and McKinney North High School has the most available space with current enrollment of 1,600 students and a capacity for 2,400. The district will be examining the possibility of rezoning high schools within the next couple of years, in order to relieve McKinney Boyd High School. However, in spite of rezoning, demographic projections indicate a district need to increase high school capacity between 2013 and 2014.
When will McKinney ISD be forced to rezone high schools?
The district will not rezone high schools this year. The district may be forced to begin discussions for rezoning high schools during the 2011-2012 school year, in anticipation of the 2012-2013 school year. While no details have been discussed, the McKinney ISD administration and Board of Trustees have expressed the desire to grand-father existing high school students, when possible.
Is McKinney ISD growing at the elementary and middle school levels as well?
Absolutely. Currently, Dowell Middle School and Evans Middle School are nearing capacity. In addition, a number of elementary campuses are nearing or have reached capacity. Planning and accommodations for growth at all three levels must be considered in the upcoming bond election, currently slated for May 2011.
When will we know the details of the upcoming bond election?
The Citizen’s Bond Committee has spent months developing a bond program. This plan is not finalized. Due to the limited bonding capacity and decline in taxable property values and state funding, the committee has focused on a “nuts and bolts” bond package to include renovations, additions to accommodate future growth, and technology (both technology infrastructure and classroom technology). The bond committee will reconvene its meetings in December or January in order to finalize the bond package and make a recommendation to the McKinney ISD Board of Trustees at the January or February Board Meeting. The Board of Trustees will then determine whether or not to formally call an election for May 2011. When the election is called the district will begin a comprehensive communication plan to educate the public on the proposed bond package.
Why can’t the district build smaller schools, or construct a fourth high school, as opposed to expanding McKinney High School and McKinney North High School?
This was the focus of the recent high school growth analysis. The simple answer is that McKinney ISD cannot afford it. Due to the declining taxable property values and the state funding formula for school districts, the high construction and operating costs of a fourth high school are not a viable option at this time. The State of Texas is reporting a projected $18-$21 billion shortfall during the 2011-13 biennium. Education Commissioner Robert Scott has suggested more than $260 million in cuts from the overall education budget. In addition, federal ARRA funds ($5.85 million), are scheduled to end following the 2010-11 year, and additional cuts are expected. These financial constraints not only impact bonding capacity but day-to-day operating costs.
The cost of constructing a new high school is approximately $30 million more than expanding the existing high school campuses, and perhaps more importantly, would cost the district an additional $5.3+ million per year to operate. Expanding the existing high schools is not only the most cost effective option, it is currently the only option. However, there are significant benefits to adding to these campuses versus construction of a small high school, including increased course options and access to more comprehensive academic and extra-curricular activities and facilities. These benefits are also included in the online presentation. We invite you to take the time to learn more about this topic by viewing the complete presentation, which is narrated by Dr. J.D. Kennedy, McKinney ISD Superintendent of Schools.
Contingent upon passage of the bond election, will the district expand the high schools immediately?
The high school expansions and expansions of elementary and middle schools will only occur as needed. Both McKinney North High School and McKinney High School are already slated for renovations in the upcoming bond election, as well as other schools across the district. The district will move forward with critical needs or renovations first, and expansion to the schools will occur as needed.
Did the district change its philosophy on building smaller schools?
The philosophy of the district has remained the same. McKinney ISD believes that smaller school designs are ideal. However, financial constraints such as the state funding formula, declining taxable property values, a limited commercial tax base, and other factors have all contributed to why the district has increased the size of some campuses. It’s important to keep in mind that a 3,000 student high school is still considered a small 5A high school in this region. McKinney ISD is committed to the construction of smaller schools, when it is fiscally feasible to construct and operate these facilities. One should not assume, however, that smaller schools equate to smaller class sizes or a lower student to teacher ratio. More often than not, economies of scale in a larger high school allow more opportunities for smaller class sizes and increased course options. Please refer to the expanded presentation for more information.
McKinney ISD students pay tribute to their teachers in this video produced in honor of the district's 2011 Teacher of the Year candidates.
Click the above image to play video.
"In fact, we believe that the primary source of the state's budget imbalance is not slower revenue growth, but rather, built-in budget imbalances that simply become more evident during periods of economic decline or slow revenue growth. Chief among these potential sources of persistent imbalances is education funding. As we have said for the past four years, the school finance reforms that the legislature approved in 2006 created a long-term source of budget pressure for the state, in our opinion."
-Standard and Poor's, Feb. 16, 2011