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New Battle Opens Old Wounds In Plano ISD

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Plano ISD’s 2009 feeder system is facing a new battle, as parents with children on track to attend Plano West Senior High School packed Tuesday night’s work session.

About 170 parents filled the room, despite not being allowed to speak on the issue during the session.

The contentious debate came to a close two years ago with defined tracks for where elementary, middle, high and senior high school students will attend.

But some parents fear the feeder system will lead to overcrowding at Plano West. Estimates put the school’s enrollment at 3,400 by 2015. “What is the problem with having a class that’s 1,000 to 1,200 spread across four schools instead of pushing up against 1,500 to 1,700 spread across three?” Asked John Donovan, a Plano parent.

Donovan and other parents want the school board to undo the 2009 plan and look at an alternative feeder system that would equally balance enrollment at all three senior high schools in Plano.

Other possible solutions include adding a fourth senior high school by either building a new one or converting an existing school.

Board President Tammy Richards believes that smaller high schools provide a better all-around education. “You can accomplish a wide variety of curricular experiences with classes much, much smaller,” Richards said.

Other trustees and parents defend the 2009 feeder system and believe that undoing it will open old wounds. “There’s no way to make every school the exact same size,” said Traci Davis, a Plano parent.

Supporters of the 2009 system believe the district has enough qualified teachers and administrators to handle Plano’s West’s enrollment needs in the future. “Give me a better reason,” said Missy Bender, a PISD trustee. “I don’t have that yet. For a very small subset of kids, you want to redo everything?”

The Plano ISD school board will take up the missue during its next meeting on Sept. 6.

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