Fight Against Student Flight for LISD - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/22/03

Fight Against Student Flight for LISD

As one school district grapples with growing pains, another struggles to keep students. Part of Frenship ISD's growth is coming at the expense of LISD. But, a new LISD tuition free program is helping to level the playing field again.

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What's happening is certainly no secret. It's been well publicized. Most of the growth in Lubbock is south of 98th St. and west of Frankford Avenue. 98th is the boundary between LISD and the Cooper school district. Frankford is the boundary between LISD and Frenship School District.

So, LISD is losing hundreds of students a year to the new growth in those areas as a result of families leaving the city for newer homes in south and west Lubbock County. But now, LISD is in a fight to stop the flight.

LISD Assistant to the Superintendent Mickey Andress says there's still a misconception out there about LISD's transfer policy. Although he says it's straight forward. "We have an open door policy where students can transfer in with no fee," says Andress.

The new policy was put in place more than two years ago, when Dr. Jack Clemmons came in. It was put in place as LISD was losing students because of new growth outside the LISD. "And we're gonna start spreading the word, that we will take your child," says Andress.

The transfer policy looks like this. You can transfer your children into LISD. They can attend the high school or junior high of their choice. Most elementary schools have room for transfers. There is no tuition. That's a big difference from the old policy which charged families $200/month per student. And LISD says the process takes only about 10 minutes.

The effort goes beyond all this. LISD now sends letters like this one to families living just on the other side of Frankford and 98th Streets. This one targets families in the Frenship district, and highlights that Irons Junior High is the 'closest junior high to your home.'

"We're not gonna call. We're just going to let them know that as parents, they have a choice," says Andress. We're also talking about big bucks here. Next year, LISD has more than 1,100 students transferring in. The state pays LISD about $5,000 per student. Calculation: about $5.5 million in additional funds.

Parents interested in transferring can call LISD at (806) 766-1404.

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