Sara Story, Denton Reporter
Students who live outside the district can now apply to attend classes in the Lake Dallas ISD for free.
As school districts across Texas look for ways to maximize state funding, one North Texas district is changing its enrollment rules to get more money.
The Lake Dallas Independent School District board voted unanimously to boost student numbers by opening its enrollment policy.
Students living outside the district will be able to apply to go to Lake Dallas schools for free.
"It's based on capacity and staff availability," Superintendent Gayle Stinson said. "At that point, we will check a student's academic, discipline and attendance history."
The state school finance system is based on enrollment numbers, and funds depend on the size of the student body, Stinson said.
"Due to the issues of public school finance in the last legislative session, all districts are looking to maximize capacity for funding, and this is one way to do that," she said.
Student growth has slowed at Lake Dallas ISD because the district is landlocked and has no room to expand. The district said open enrollment is key to boosting numbers.
"At this point, we don't see our residential growth happening like we did a decade ago," Stinson said. "Therefore, there are seats available, and we are opening those up to the public."
Students and parents like Debbie Lusk said they're on board with the bold move.
"I think it is a great idea," Lusk said. "Having children from other areas is always good. It would help our school. It's a compliment for our school to grow."
The district is confident in its decision and thinks others will follow suit.
Students that live outside of the district can apply online for enrollment throughout April.