Hays CISD narrows controversial new boundary line maps down to three

Hays
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KYLE, Texas (KXAN) — Hays CISD is in the process of building its third high school which will open next school year. With a new school comes new boundary lines for students that some may find controversial. 

“You’re changing routines for people. It’s disruptive for families. It is one of the hardest things that a district ever has to do,” said Hays Consolidated ISD spokesperson Tim Savoy.  

Along with the district, a committee has been working since August to create new boundary maps for students. At a meeting in October, the committee approved two maps to present to the Board of Trustees for consideration. You can find all maps up for consideration on the Hays CISD website.  

“Each step of the way the maps have either changed a little bit or been refined as the process has gone along,” said Savoy.

Since August seven different maps were created. On Monday, HCISD Superintendent Dr. Eric Wright presented his own recommendation to the board.  

“Mine helps alleviate the overcrowding at the middle school level and balances out the middle schools quicker, although we will have to do something about capacity at our middle schools probably in the next year and a half or so,” said Wright. “But, what it does is that it allows the high school capacity to be balanced over the next decade and it doesn’t put any of the three comprehensive high schools over capacity for ten years.”

Wright says these maps focus on neighborhood schools, meaning a student should go to the school closest to home, but some parents worry that puts low-income students at a disadvantage.

“The more you work the map, you wound up putting more people on school buses to try to balance and make the tables equal. Geographically there really isn’t a solution to a complete balance of socio-economic diversity,” said Savoy. 

Wright says the district will be addressing the needs of all kids and provide extra attention to the kids who end up in schools with larger low socio-economic populations. 

“We are just going to provide support, more staffing, more resources, and try to reduce the class sizes so it’s more equitable,” said Wright. 

The district will also offer students a chance to transfer to other schools if they want a program that’s offered elsewhere.

“You could have a cyber security specialized program and allow a student to transfer to a school where that might be offered. When you have programs like that, then you can really encourage that diversity outside of the standard geographical zones that the map will create,” said Savoy. 

Parents will have another chance to voice their opinion about the maps publicly at a board meeting on November 26. Board members could pick the final map then. 

KXAN’s Lauren Lanmon speaks with the school district about how the lines are determined and what factors are taken into consideration to make sure every student has equal opportunity, tonight on KXAN News at 6

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