PRESIDENT

Lake Highlands Parents Concerned About School Overcrowding

Richardson Independent School District trustees are working on a possible bond package to address the problem of school overcrowding.

Richard and Heather Duge live just a few blocks away from White Rock Elementary School.

"The elementary school is exceptional. We did a lot of research before we made the decision to buy here," said Richard Duge.

The couple moved to Lake Highlands to ensure their children go to exceptional schools, and they are not alone. Many families move to the neighborhood each year for the schools, but this year the "destination district" is facing some challenges when it comes to overcrowding.

Richardson ISD is comprised of 55 campuses and more than 38,000 students. The district is growing at an exceptional rate. In fact, some classrooms are already at capacity, which means students who have moved to a neighborhood for a specific school may be sent elsewhere to a nearby school that can accommodate them.

"We will never be able to say with 100-percent accuracy that every single child who moves into a neighborhood will have a place at that school, but that is our goal," said Richardson ISD Superintendent Dr. Kay Waggoner.

A $417 million bond proposal is in the works to add facilities, technology and additional classrooms to the district, but some residents are concerned it's not enough to solve overcrowding problem long-term.

"There are several elementary schools that are approaching or above 800 students, or will be in the next few years, and it kind of goes against the neighborhood school that a lot of people moved here for," said Richard Duge.

School trustees ensure parents they are taking steps necessary to address the issue.

"We want to look at those things first that we can address, that are fiscally responsible and have the least impact to our students, our staff and our communities," said Richardson ISD School Board President Kim Caston.

The board has until Feb. 19 to call for a bond election. Residents are invited to attend the upcoming school board meeting scheduled for Feb. 1.

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