ECISD/MISD: Enrollment Will Stay Steady in a Bust 10/22/12
October 22, 2012
Midland, Odessa, TX - What goes up must go down, but when it comes to school enrollment, does an increase necessarily mean a decrease when an economic bust hits the basin?
School officials take us through a history lesson for the answer.
Dr. H.T Sanchez with Ector County Independent School District says it took a span of ten years to lose only 24-hundred students in the economic oil bust of the 1980's.
“We would anticipate the same trend of booms and busts,” he said. “When the busts hit there is not a job to go back to in many cases there isn't something waiting for them to return home to, so many make West Texas their home.”
“People just assume that when we hit a bust cycle that we lose 6,000 to 7,000 kids in the school district and that's never happened,” said Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren with Midland Independent School District.
He adds that West Texans are very weary of another bust and it’s a subject that comes up after every speech he makes.
“We are requesting three new schools,” he said, “I’m asked if we bust in the next five to ten years will those schools be empty and that has not been a historic trend.”
Collin Sewell with Odessaans For Kids says its also concern for many forum attendees, but he says as a business owner, there is no greater business than educating our future.
“My hope is that we would use a great public education system as a tool to not only move here, but stay here,” he said.
Mark and Tanya Thomason have lived in west Texas for the past twenty-seven years they also have three children who live here as well
“They are 26, 25, and 16 years old,” Tanya explained
Mark says lately business has been good, but in the past it has not always been this way. The Thomason family has been though their share of booms and busts in the Permian Basin, yet they say they stayed.
There are still jobs to find if you look for it. I was in the oil field then got into the water business.
If there were another bust would you guys move?
“Never, we wouldn't know how to act anywhere else,” they said.
According to Workforce Solutions of the Permian Basin, there are more job opportunities in the area as leaders continue to diversify our economy and if there is a bust; many employees would simply find another job in another field.