The Truth About MAP 11/14/12
CBS 7 Reporter
November 14, 2012
Midland, TX - This week Midland ISD board members made the controversial decision to move an alternative program into a historic neighborhood, despite strong opposition from homeowners.
At Tuesday’s meeting trustees made the decision to move the Midland Alternative Program out of the Mashburn building downtown and into the former West Early Childhood Center.
People in that neighborhood are not happy with the decision but administration and trustees say there are misconceptions about what the program really is.
Principal Lena Buck has one word in response to last night’s unanimous decision.
"Yahoo!!" she shouts.
She says the alternative program has outgrown the Mashburn building.
"I'm excited because were going to have more space, more room, we can offer more programs," Mrs. Buck says.
But people who live in the museum district have a different point of view.
"It doesn't belong in any neighborhood,” says Lillian Reynolds. “I don't understand why they would put it in the historic, in the museum district of all places. We have stuff down at the museum all the time and it's a great area."
Homeowners fear for their safety but administrators say MAP is not a criminal facility. They claim in most cases the students broke school policy and not the law.
"There’s people using the phrase ‘those kids’ and that's got a negative connotation," says Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren.
So we looked at the list for ourselves to see exactly what these students are in trouble for. Of the 73 students currently at MAP, the top 3 offenses are fighting, misbehaviors such as talking back to a teacher or using inappropriate language, or drug use on school property. Also on the list: 2 students with felony offenses, including vandalism.
"We want to come in and put a program in that is not working?” Reynolds asks. “The program is broken."
MISD admits the program needs improvements.
"My expectation is the physical work were going to do to West is going to turn that facility back into a pride point for this entire community and that program is going to be a pride source for this community," Dr. Warren explains.
"Misconceptions happen all the time,” Principal Buck says. “They happen with me, with my staff, with other folks in the community. The thing we want to do is prove those misconceptions wrong."
Dr. Warren says he is willing to put a police officer on the campus throughout the entire school day to help ease the neighbor's minds.
Another worry for those neighbors is property values.
It’s been a common concern for homeowners over the past year when it comes to drilling rigs, new apartment complexes and now the alternative program.
But the Midland County Appraisal district says those landmarks shouldn't have any effect on their home value.
They claim the value is based on the market and with such a booming economy in West Texas they don't see numbers declining any time soon.
Another Realtor we spoke with says homeowners near the Blueridge Apartment complex had a similar concern but their property value has not changed since the apartments went up.