TEXARKANA, TX (KSLA) - The Board of Trustees with the Texarkana, Texas Independent School District voted unanimously Thursday to call a bond election November 4 that would help build a new school and add to a middle school.
They voted in favor of putting the $29.9 million bond issue on the ballot at Thursday's meeting. TISD Superintendent Paul Norton says the additions are needed because of the increased student enrollment, especially in elementary schools.
Norton says the district is operating at 114 percent student capacity. He says there are 24 seats available in the elementary schools, and when they are filled, the district may not be able to honor the state mandate of one teacher to 22 students per classroom.
TISD is an open district, and Norton said if things don't change they may be forced to stop taking students who live outside the district.
"Because when a family moves to Texarkana, and they have three or four children, and because we don't have seats to put them in, then that is a huge problem," Norton said. "What ends up happening is we overcrowd classrooms."
School leaders say they knew this problem was coming. Texarkana residents voted down a bond issue to build a new school in 2010.
"The growth of Texarkana continues to move out to the west, and so it just makes sense if we are going to look at adding an elementary campus, it needs to be on that west end of Texarkana, which is the west end of our school district," Norton said.