The Wichita Falls Independent School District's Board of Trustees met Tuesday to discuss possible changes to the district's Choice Program.
Superintendent Dr. John Frossard said his staff is in the process of reviewing every aspect of the WFISD, and the Choice Program could use some updating. He said, "I heard a number of concerns that we may be over crowding particular schools or we may be strengthening certain schools at the expense of other schools. I've been here long enough to see billboards of schools recruiting students to choose them, that's a little bit unusual. The goal for me is to have all of our schools be worthy of consideration and for a parent to be comfortable with their child being in any of our schools."
School Board President Kevin Goldstein said, "Effectively what has happened is we have certain schools that are meeting capacity. For the first time we may have to tell some of our kids they're not going to get their first choice." Goldstein drew a distinction between the Choice Program and another Item on the agenda: Choice Busing.
Choice Bussing is a financial issue that could be addressed separately from the overall Choice Program. If busses are rolled back the district could save around $200,000 but the responsibility of getting kids to their choice schools, falls to the parents.
Goldstein said, "I think that the parent is going to have to bear some of that cost going forward. If they live outside that attendance zone or that school zone and they want their kid to go there, they're going to have to bear that cost because we would not be able to afford that going forward."
Doctor Frossard added that they're expecting a major reduction in the amount of State reimbursement for travel. He said, "I think we're going to have to consider the choice bussing just for financial reasons and surprisingly that hasn't been quite as controversial as I thought it would be."
Both men stressed the most important thing is to get the youth of Wichita Falls the best education possible in a safe environment. The Board also discussed facility improvements and consolidations, but like the Choice discussions, no action was taken. Goldstein said he hopes to have answers for parents, and students anxious to find out where they'll be going to school, by early next year.