DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The calls for change at a Dallas high school have been heard. The Dallas Independent School District’s board voted late Thursday night in favor of major funding to help with problems at South Oak Cliff High School. But not everybody is satisfied with the decision.
Voters approved a $1.6 billion bond issue last fall to improve Dallas schools.
During a heated debate, there were people who were passionate about schools all over the Dallas area. And the opinions about how funding should be divided up were mixed. Ultimately, some applauded the move to give more than $50 million to repairs at South Oak Cliff High School.
Built in 1952, it is not the oldest campus in the Dallas school district. But critics have argued that South Oak Cliff High School is the building that is most in need of repairs. Recent issues have included possible gas leaks, lead in the drinking water, water leaks and termites.
The money will fix about 20 issues on the campus — things like a new roof, plumbing, gym, HVAC system, cafeteria expansion and better parking. Construction will likely happen one piece at a time, and while kids are in classes.
Some people claim that other Dallas schools are in worse shape, but that parents and students at South Oak Cliff High School have been the most vocal in pleading for change. “Drive south on 35 past the Trinity and look to the west. New schools,” board member Joyce Foreman explained. “But look to the east where South Oak Cliff, Carter, Kimball, Roosevelt… schools that have a long history in this district, that are traditional, are struggling.”
“We have to beg for everything we get,” Foreman added.
South Oak Cliff High School was originally set to receive just $13 million for repair work. That amount was then pushed up to $40 million, and now to $52 million total. The motion passed by a 6-3 vote Thursday night. Repairs will begin at the school in about one year once the renovators are chosen.
Students are excited to finally witness change on their campus. Teilor Johnson and Kayla Washington both pleaded for these improvements as part of the ‘Stand With SOC’ group. “I feel like we’re getting heard now,” said Washington on Friday. “In the beginning, we weren’t really being heard. But the fact that they actually opened their ears to actually listen to us, it really helps out a lot.”
“I feel like the ‘Stand With SOC’ students,” added Johnson, “I’m going to feel like we accomplished what we fought for.”