Carroll school leaders say open enrollment would bring more state dollars to the district.

Posted Tuesday, Jun. 04, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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The Carroll school board gave preliminary approval Monday night to a propsal to allow students who live within the Southlake city limits but who are in the Keller or Northwest school districts to transfer without charge to Carroll schools.

Trustees voted 6-0 in favor of the policy change. Place 5 Trustee Erin Shoupp was not present for the vote.

Transfers would be granted for only one regular school year at a time, and each student would have to reapply annually.

“I want to make sure we are incredibly clear” on that point, Place 6 Trustee Matt Kormann said before the vote.

About 400 children would qualify, administrators say.

The second reading and final vote are planned for June 24.

Two Southlake residents who live in the Keller district spoke in favor of open enrollment.

“We want to be part of the community,” Kristle Wachtler told trustees. The school community should include all Southlake residents, and students who don’t attend Carroll schools often feel ostracized, she said.

“They don’t fit into Southlake, and they don’t fit into Keller,” she said.

Open enrollment could help bring state dollars to Carroll, but trustees said they wanted to make sure the district doesn’t end up spending more money in the long run. Carroll could get about $5,500 from the state for every student who transfers.

The 2012-13 Carroll budget included an estimated shortfall of $1.6 million. In 2011, state funding reductions resulted in more than $8 million in cuts.

The district already offers transfers to some students, including the children of district employees and students in the Carroll Medical Academy.

The Carroll district had 7,688 students this school year, 87 percent of whom live in Southlake. The others live in Grapevine.

By 2020-21, the district is expected to grow to 7,958 students, according to a recent presentation of demographic projections. Campuses such as Old Union Elementary and Eubanks Intermediate are projected to steadily decrease over the next eight school years, according to the study.

This report contains material from Star-Telegram archives.

Diane Smith, 817-390-7675 Twitter: @dianeasmith1

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