WFISD Has Reason For Pushing Bond Proposal

New graduation requirements are putting pressure on the Wichita Falls I.S.D.

"House Bill 5 has given us that flexibility, but at the same time, with that flexibility comes new requirements,"  Michael Kurht the Associate Superintendent for WFISD said.

This is one of the main reasons why they are pushing for the new Career and Technical Education Center to pass.

"The current plan that we have was not working for them," he said, "This new one, so much more flexible."

House Bill 5 was put into place at the start of the school year.  So, the freshman class will be the first class to graduate under the new endorsement plan.

"When they get to high school they have to have a plan," Kuhrt said.

It is a more balanced plan giving students the opportunity to either chose a path that leads them to higher education, or one that leads them to a career right out of high school.

He said, "We know about half of our students do not aspire to go to higher education, so they are looking for jobs here in our community."

The problem school officials are facing is being able to meet the new requirements when the current freshman become juniors.  They can meet the requirements when they are freshman and sophomores, but not when they are juniors and seniors.

"I'm not saying we won't have those programs, but our program offerings will be limited and we're going to be scrambling for space," he said.

Space is another issue.  If the bond doesn't pass, there won't be enough room to fill the requirements.  Kuhrt explained Rider High School is at full capacity and Hirschi High School has very limited space.  Wichita Falls High School is 100 years old, so renovations are hard to do.

He said the CTE center would provide them with more than enough space to provide students with more opportunities.

"Our students, if they leave here, are competing with the world," he said "They're not competing with the kid next door."

Right now the district has six to eight endorsements.

"When we finish with all of our planning and our current freshmen become seniors, we're hoping to have upwards of about 30 endorsements," court said.

That won't be a possibility if the bond doesn't pass.

"Yes, we have a drought and that is a serious issue and we're all living with that.  However, these kids future is today," he said.

Officials said it will take 18 months to build the CTE center, if it passes.

There are five endorsements under the new state requirement.  STEM, which is science, technology, engineering and mathematics, Business and Industry, Arts and Humanities, and Multi-Disciplinary Studies.  WFISD has provided a parent guide on their website.

if you would like to check it out.  It will give you a better idea of graduation requirements and tips on what endorsements your child might want to seek.

, Newschannel 6