Katy ISD facing tough decision

May 21, 2010 2:48:27 PM PDT
Growing pains are plaguing the Katy Independent School District. It's one of the fastest growing districts in the area, and leaders are having trouble trying to make sure they have enough money and enough classroom space to keep up with the demand. Cinco Ranch has grown an estimated 40 percent in the past five years, making it the fastest growing subdivision in the Katy school district. However, more people means more schools and the need for more money to pay for it. It's not a hard sell for one mom we interviewed.

"Our taxes are already very high here in Katy, but for most of us it's worth it for our children and the level of education we have here in Katy," said Katy resident Jennifer Durand.

The Katy ISD board is facing a tough decision. Board members are figuring out how much money they'll need from the voters for an expected bond election in November, even though it hasn't been that long since the last bond election.

Katy ISD spokesperson Steve Stanford explained, "Our last bond election was in 2006, and we were projected to have one in 2009, but we put that off because of the state of the economy."

The Katy school district is massive, including parts of Waller, Harris and Fort Bend counties. The student population is growing fastest in these five subdivisions -- Cinco Ranch, Cross Creek, Firethorne, Silver Ranch and Pine Mill Ranch, all south of I-10.

While it hasn't been determined how much the bond referendum will cost, or exactly where or how many new schools will be built, Katy ISD has projected the need for five elementary schools, two junior highs, and one high school by 2012.

"I have no qualms about the quality (of education)," said resident Will Miller. "I hope that they can keep the quality, but I hope they can keep the taxes low, too."

The bond referendum is expected to be presented to the board with details in the next couple of months, and then go to the voters in November.


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