LETTER: Open letter to WISD school board

TO THE EDITOR: Waxahachie Global High is a STEM school, which means that many of our courses focus on science, technology, engineering, and math. Following the decision that was recently reached by the WISD school board, I feel that it is appropriate to put some of these skills to good use.

Waxahachie Global High is a critically acclaimed and accredited high school, and consistently ranks in the top percentage of high schools in the country. Because of this, WISD actually receives money for each student that it enrolls at Global High. Currently, the amount it receives is close to $8,500 per student. With Global High’s population of 450 students, you’ll find that the students at Global High bring in over 3.8 million dollars every year to the district.

However, we must keep in mind that Global High is made up of 37% out of district students, who until now have not had to worry about paying transfer fees or other expenses. But, due to the ruling of the WISD school board, out of district students will now be required to pay $800 per year to attend Global High School. Polling at the school says that out of the current out of district students, only 12% of students would be willing and able to pay this fee. This means that once this decision takes full effect, Global High will lose roughly 152 students, which is equivalent to a loss of 1.3 million dollars. The fees that willing transfer students will pay (around $11,000 combined) are not even close to offsetting those costs.

At Global High, we are also taught to think critically, and overlook no possible answer to a solution. One would think that these simple calculations would have been studied at length and in depth by the WISD school board. So there must be some other factor at play in this situation. After looking the situation over, and talking to city officials, the reason becomes obvious. The true purpose behind this decision and fee is not based on facts and numbers. Rather, it is based on public perception.

Many members of the community feel that out of district students are a drain on their resources. Citizens believe that transfer students are obtaining free college courses at Waxahachie resident’s expense, without having to bear any of the burdens. However, the truth is completely the opposite. Transfer students bring WISD more money than they take, and fill spots at Global High that otherwise would be left vacant. However, as this dangerous lie about transfer students continues to spread, it does not just affect transfer students, but Waxahachie Independent School District as a whole.

To change the public perception of transfer students at Waxahachie Global High, the WISD school board has decided to block out of district children, and require a fee that many are simply unable to pay. This is quite ironic, because a school district of all entities should seek to educate the public, rather than continue to spread misinformation. I would like to ask the WISD school board to reconsider their decision, and make sure the public, as well as themselves, are educated and well informed before hand. And if they need any tips on research and problem solving, they can come to Global High and learn for themselves.

— Levi Villarreal