Austin-area schools try to keep up with population growth

Austin-area schools try to keep up with population growth

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Tremendous growth is projected for the Austin-area over the next few years. That means more families enrolling their kids in schools here and the districts trying to keep up.

"In terms of population growth Austin is nothing short of white hot right now. We are the fastest growing large metropolitan area in the country," Austin City Demographer Ryan Robinson said.

Robinson estimates that as many as 65,000 people will move in to the Austin area a year for the next few years. He says the growth is virtually happening in every part of the city.

"East Austin, south Central Austin, Oak Hill is booming, North Austin, north Central Austin," he said.

And in every age group.

"It's happening in almost every age cohort, it's not just post-college and early 30s which is traditional, but we're attracting families with children, singles, childless couples and seniors," Robinson said.

Katie Desikan moved to Austin a few years ago from Los Angeles.

"I thought, this is a very affordable place, compared to Los Angeles and I thought why not? I heard this is a hip, great city," Desikan said. "This is a great place for single people, people with families, everyone."

In just a few years her two kids will both be in Austin schools. But across Austin ISD, many schools already exceed capacity. An AISD Citizens Committee is currently working on a bond package for the district to help with overcrowding, but other priorities such as school repairs and improvements to athletics and fine arts programs may be considered more urgent.

"I really do feel for them, they are in for a couple really, really tough years," Robinson said

As the district tries to figure out how to accommodate for the population boom.

It is not just Austin. Leander ISD estimates they will need eight new schools in the next 10 years, five elementary schools, a middle school and two high schools.

Pflugerville ISD will have added three new schools in three years and will likely need a new high school in the next few years.

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