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School Board Continues Choice Program Discussions

This afternoon, WFISD school board members continued their discussion about what to  do about the district's choice program, which allows junior high and high school students the choice of where they want to go to school.  Revising the program has the potential to save the district thousands upon thousands of dollars.
    WFISD the district could save money on things like school consolidation, but also by revisions that could eliminate the choice busing program.
    That offers service to students who choose to attend schools outside what would be considered their attendance zone.
    In their Tuesday meeting, WFISD school board members made clear they're not trying to give the district's choice program the ax, they're simply looking at ways to make it most cost-effective for the district.
    Dr. John Frossard, WFISD superintendent, says, "And really just trying to move from an open-ended choice program where all secondary students fill out an application to more of a managed program."
    The problem is that as of right now, there's not a set attendance zone map telling students which school they'd go to without having a choice.
    Board members are considering adopting a zoning map, but first, Dr. Frossard says they'll have to receive results from a facility analysis.
    "We've entered negotiations with an architect and the architectural firm will be updating the building capacities for our schools, and that will help us with some of our decision making for consolidation."
    He says school consolidation is something the board should continually look at so as to make sure the district is being a good steward of tax payer money.
    "If we've got some schools that are nearing the end of their useful life, it's doubtful that we're going to invest even more money in facilities that are cost prohibitive.  In some cases, it's cheaper to build new if you need to or use existing capacity."
    Dr. Frossard says right now, the board is making progress in the decision making process.
    It's not a quick process by any means, but he hopes they'll start nailing down some decisions in the spring or early fall.
    During the meeting, Dr. Frossard said he does not want school district employees to worry about losing their jobs because of consolidation.
    He said teachers and personnel are this district's biggest asset, and his intent is to not reduce the district's employees, unless there are tremendous budget cuts handed down from the state.
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