A member of the Citizen's Boundary Committee is challenging the Round Rock ISD School Board to take a better look at the district's enrollment projections before taking action on proposed boundary changes Feb. 16.
Tere McCann, who represents Round Rock and McNeil high schools on the committee, claims inaccurate projections have caused unnecessary boundary changes in the past and have affected the same group of students.
McCann is challenging the data presented in the final boundary committee report claiming a more modest increase in high school students for fall 2012 than projected.
"I have attempted to help the administration improve upon its current projection methodology and in a last-ditch effort to effect change, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and issue this challenge so that kids will win no matter who is more accurate," he said.
Under the district's proposed boundary plan—which the Boundary Committee voted to recommend—2,979 students are projected to enroll at Cedar Ridge High School in fall 2012.
If the board approves the Boundary Committee's recommendation, the school's enrollment would be below 3,000 and be relieved of overcrowding in fall 2012.
McCann, who is chief financial officer of a local financial services company, said he estimates Cedar Ridge High School's enrollment will be 2,881. He said he used the Cohort Survival Ratio Method to calculate the number.
The Cohort Survival Method is an enrollment projection method that takes into account students who came from historical new housing and modifies projections only if the number of proposed houses is greater than the historical number of new housing, he said.
The district's projections do not take into account that new housing numbers are lower than what they have been in the past due to the housing decline, McCann said.
He said inaccurate projections have caused a faulty boundary determination process dating back to the 2008-09 school year when Round Rock ISD was preparing for the opening of Cedar Ridge High School, its fifth high school.
"The inaccurate projections in 2008 for the new Cedar Ridge set off a series of unnecessary boundary changes that split communities and students from their classmates and cost the district thousands of dollars in added transportation," McCann said.
"A short three years later, the district administration is forced to move some of these students back, resulting in the Wells Branch neighborhood being assigned their third high school zone in three years," he said.
At the Jan. 19 meeting, trustee Terri Romere suggested school board members get more time to make their final decisions on the 2012 boundaries after an error was found in the district's enrollment projections.
RRISD Superintendent Jesus Chavez described it as a small error in student projections that had been corrected.
"The problem would have been if we hadn't have corrected it and we moved forward. I personally am comfortable with the numbers, and we are going to stand behind those numbers," Chavez said at the meeting.
"We respect the varying opinions of all our stakeholders, and we are appreciative of all our volunteers who served on the citizen's boundary committee. We were unaware of Mr. McCann's announcement to the media, but we appreciate Community Impact for sharing the news with us," RRISD spokesperson JoyLynn Occhiuzzi said.
McCann's challenge is a matching pledge based on what he said is a discrepancy in enrollment projections provided by the district's administration. Monies from the challenge will be donated to the Round Rock ISD Education Foundation, he said.
He has pledged up to $20 per high school student up to a maximum of $10,000 enrolled at the district's five high schools in fall 2012 that exceeds his projected total high school enrollment of 12,903 students.
This means that if, for example, 2,882 students enroll at Cedar Ridge High School in fall 2012, McCann would pay $20. This is due to the actual enrollment number, in this example, being one student over his projected enrollment of 2,881 students.
His challenge is contingent upon supporters of the administration's projections to agree to provide a pledge per student enrolled at the district's five high schools for every student below the administration's projection of 13,214 students less 200 students, which amounts to 13,014 students.
This means that supporters of the school administration's projections would agree to pay an amount for every student below the administration's projected student enrollment for fall 2012.
Those interested can get a pledge form by emailing McCann at [email protected].
The school board is expected to take action on proposed boundary changes at its Feb. 16 meeting which starts at 7:30 p.m. in the Round Rock High School lecture hall, 300 Lake Creek Drive.
Boundary Committee's presentation to the board: https://www.roundrockisd.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=37246
More on Cohort Survival Ratio Method: https://www.statforecast.com/csr.htm