Demographer projects explosive growth in Pflugerville ISD's eastern edges

A demographer told trustees Jan. 16 that PfISD could realistically add 3,400 students in the next five years. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
A demographer told trustees Jan. 16 that PfISD could realistically add 3,400 students in the next five years. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

A demographer told trustees Jan. 16 that PfISD could realistically add 3,400 students in the next five years. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)

PfISD is experiencing a near-record growth in student enrollment in the current school year, a demographer told trustees Jan. 16.

Templeton Demographics Vice President Bob Templeton reported the school district has grown by 953 students in the 2019-20 school year, the highest number in at least the last five years. Those 953 students represent 3.74% year-over-year growth in PfISD’s student population.

Overall, Templeton Demographics projects the school district could grow by 3,400 students, up to 29,881 students overall, in the next handful of years. In the next ten years, Templeton said PfISD could add more than 7,000 new students, up to 33,848 overall.

The largest jump in student growth in the last year, as well as where the projected future growth of the district lies, is in PfISD’s Mott Elementary boundaries, Templeton said. The demographer said the Mott Elementary school zone is going to add approximately 3,500 housing units over the next five years.

Mott Elementary is the district’s largest elementary boundary zone, stretching from FM 685 in the west to beyond FM 973 in the east.

“The reality is the Mott zone is a big geographic area that literally [needs] multiple elementaries, multiple middle schools and another high school, still,” Templeton told trustees.

There are more than 1,600 single-family lots to build on throughout the district, Templeton said. Groundwork is underway on 870 single-family lots in PfISD’s district.

According to Templeton Demographics’ report, PfISD can expect to see thousands of multifamily units added inside its district as well. There are approximately 2,900 units nearing completion over the next few years, with an additional 2,700 in planning stages and likely to begin construction next year, Templeton said.

“You could realistically see more than 5,000 units added in the next two to three years,” Templeton told trustees.


District will have to draw from own budget to pay for state-mandated teacher training

Superintendent Doug Killian told trustees and Chief Operating Officer Ed Ramos that PfISD is looking at a large bill to fund its own state-mandated teacher literacy training.

Killian said the “worst-case scenario” for the district is a $3.5 million sum that would come out of the district’s own budget. The best-case scenario would be “quite a bit cheaper,” Killian said, and would feature a combination of online and in-person training for teachers.

“We’re going to do what is best for the reading academy, not just what is cheaper,” Killian told trustees.

A provision in House Bill 3, the $11.6 billion state education funding bill passed by the 86th Legislature in June 2019, mandates all kindergarten through third-grade teachers and school principals attend a teacher literacy achievement academy by the 2021-22 school year.

Although HB 3 allocated up to $12 million in additional state funds for PfISD, Killian said the state did not provide funding measures for the mandated reading academies to independent school districts.

“We’re going to have to pay for [reading academies],” Killian said.
By Iain Oldman

Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.


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