"Growth is not coming to Aledo ISD.
Growth is here."
“Growth is not coming to Aledo ISD. Growth is already here,” advised Superintendent Dr. Susan Bohn.
The AISD is at a turning point, driven by the growth in the AISD area. “Aledo ISD added 1,255 students between 2013/14 and 2018/19, a growth rate of 25%,” according to the AISD Summer 2019 Demographic Report, presented at the July AISD board meeting. (See the WPCG AISD webpage and Aledo ISD Real Estate Demographics for details and links.)
Bearcat Growth Committee, BGC
The AISD wisely remembers the 2017 bond initiative that failed, with 71% of the small turnout of AISD citizens voting against the bond.
[Editorial Update 05 August, 2019: Read the Aledo ISD 2015 Bond Update brochure.]
This time, AISD created the Bearcat Growth Committee (BGC), a group of thirty eight AISD citizens, including individual citizens who applied, teachers, and board appointed members. Theses volunteer citizens were purposely chosen and recruited from all areas of the AISD, from all walks of life -- from full time parents to local business owners, from those who attended AISD schools to new citizens, from those with students in AISD and those who raised their children in other parts of the state and country. BGC is proudly a citizen-driven committee, with AISD employees as the committee’s “support staff."
Since December 2018, the BCG has meet twice a month or more, analyzed data, and represented the interests of our community with respect to addressing student growth in AISD. ”There's a shortage of learning space," concluded Christi James, local business owner and BGC co-chair. "We looked in to all aspects of growth in Aledo ISD; we left no stone unturned."
Jim Scott, Co-chair of the BGC, reported," We [AISD] have the second highest student growth rate in the Fort Worth area and the 4th highest in the DFW area. Now AISD has 6100 students; in five years we will have about 8700 students. So we (BGC) asked three questions, Do we have a need? If so, what is that need? How do we pay for it?"
The first need uncovered is at the elementary school level. In two years the combined elementary schools in AISD will be over maximum capacity, by the 2021/22 school year.
The next immediate need is for the middle school students. The AISD Summer 2019 Demographic Report indicates middle school facilities (6-8) will exceed functional capacity by the 21/22 school year and will exceed maximum capacity by the 23/24 school year. And remember, it takes several years to build a school facility.
In general, Aledo ISD needs one new elementary school and one new middle school. Capacity in the high school facility and the ninth grade facility is currently sufficient for near-term growth in the AISD and these needs will not be included in the November 2019 Bond initiative. (Dr Susan Bohn, Rotary Club meeting, 15 July, 2019)
Needs / Project Considered by BCG
The message is two-fold, but simple: Aledo ISD can build and renovate $141 million worth of school space without adding even a fraction of a cent to the tax rate, and… They need every bit of it, as soon as possible. Bob Buckel The Community News Friday, 26 July, 2019