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Old 04-09-2010, 04:49 PM
11 posts, read 46,164 times
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We are moving to DFW area this summer and have been looking at school systems for our elementary school age kids.

I'm surprised to see how school districts' catchment area does not correspond to the boundaries of the city. My question is whether these catchment areas are subject to change over time.

Specifically, will Irving Valley Ranch in the Coppell ISD ever revert to Irving ISD or to Carrollton FB ISD? I'm interested in homes in Valley Ranch but want to be certain they would not in a few years be switched over to another school district. In this respect is it "safer" to buy with Coppell city limits? I notice areas of north dallas fall under richardson isd too and the same question applies.

How are these issues negotiated between neighboring school districts? It would seem like in hard economic times that school districts would have incentives to free themselves of neighborhoods with weaker tax bases or from areas with greater need for special services.

Welcome your comments
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Old 04-09-2010, 05:00 PM
Location: Kaufman County, Texas
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Short answer: No, they will not change. ISD boundaries are pretty much set in stone.
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Old 04-09-2010, 06:55 PM
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Totally agree with Christie.

It would be an absolute nightmare for an area to switch from one ISD to another. You find that discussion come up often in areas where the homes are in a district other than that of the city they are in - Rowlett/Sachse in Garland ISD; Murphy in both Wylie and Plano ISD's etc. There is huge infrastructure and taxing issues that would have to be addressed so the prevailing wisdom is to leave things as they are.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:29 PM
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The only time I can think of where that has happened is when the Wilmer-Hutchins school district shut down and there was a big discussion as to which school district would absorb the students. If I remember correctly, Lancaster ISD didn't want them and Dallas ISD did want them, so the kids ended up in Dallas ISD. Wilmer-Hutchins ISD shut down bec it was a low performing badly run district.
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Old 04-09-2010, 07:43 PM
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Ditto Christie.
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Old 04-09-2010, 09:48 PM
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Texas constitution allows for school districts to incorporate and raise taxes separately from the county or city whose boundaries it lies within---
in Texas it is possible for one ISD to spread over 2-3-4 towns and 1 or 2 counties
and 1 city could have 2 or 3 or 4 ISDs within its overall boundaries...

that is why it is very important NOT to assume that because you are buying a house in Coppell that your catchment is also Coppell--MOST of Coppell is in Coppell ISD but some of it is not...

it is also possible that within a school district, a subdivision/area could be reapportioned and students who went to one elementary school one year could be assigned to another the next--
that is not a normal course of events--but demographic shifts within a district can cause the district to rebalance numbers by moving zones...
districts with lots of apartments usually see the more sudden shifts in grade level numbers because apartment populations are much more fluid than those in single family homes...

about 25 yrs ago Larry Cole--the former Dallas cowboy--who has a development company wanted to build a subdivision in Colleyville TX--at that time Colleyville's school district--Grapevine-Colleyville ISD--was not as well regarded and desireable as it is now...HEB ISD which at that time was the premier district in this part of TX--better rated than GCISD, or Southlake Carroll--Cole's land was in Colleyville but the HEB district was right across the road --he told Colleyville city council and HEB ISD that is they could get the state to agree to redistrict that he would continue with plans to develop the neighborhood (at that time expensive homes in an area that had little residential construction--a real tax boon to Colleyville and HEB)...so they lobbied the legislature and TEA and got that specific area redistricted from GCISD to HEB ISD....
of course now that neighborhood is in a less desireable district compared to GCISD--and homes of comparable size and age in neighborhood in GCISD are usually sellable at slightly higher premium

Last edited by loves2read; 04-09-2010 at 10:33 PM..
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:08 PM
Location: DFW - Coppell / Las Colinas
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Back when us local natives remember when DFW airport was way out in the middle of nowhere, those country kids had to go to school somewhere when towns like Coppell, Plano, Lewisville, etc were just small blips on the map.

School boundaries were set many,many years before the cities grew. Someone forgot to tell the cities to grow to fit the school districts.

That my child is why school boundaries do not match the city boundaries. They came 1st to determine where those country kids went to school.

Recall when farmers where actually around Lewisville ? That's why they are the "Fighting Farmers"
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Old 04-09-2010, 10:18 PM
Location: Dallas, TX
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I don't think Dallas ISD wanted Wilmer-Hutchins either. That district was shut down by the state, and SOMEONE had to take over the kids.


Back onto the situation in Coppell ISD - I believe the only way for an area to be shifted from one ISD to another ISD is to 1) Gather signatures from at least 50% of the registered voters of the area to be moved, and 2) get approval from BOTH school boards - the new and the old.

a) If you have a nice area in a crummy district, the current district won't give up the area and its tax base.
b) If you have a crummy area in a nice district, the other district won't take it.

The Richardson ISD is an interesting case, as neither a nor b apply. You could improve both Dallas ISD and Richardson ISD by handing over some of the Richardson ISD zone to Dallas ISD. Won't happen, though, as the residents would never agree to leave RISD.

I can't imagine getting even CLOSE to 50% of the people in a sizable area to bother to sign something.

So yeah, those boundaries are as good as set in stone. Now, the individual school boundaries are at the year-to-year whim of the district administration. But it will be some school in the district you're paying taxes to.
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Old 04-10-2010, 09:54 AM
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not to be rude to the OP--but your question/comments make me wonder if you are from California...

and your comment about differences between districts with varying resources is what made the state legislature resort to the "Robin Hood" reapportionment--so that wealthier districts have to give up some of their tax revenues to share with lesser funded districts--
totally unfair tax theft which was supposed to be corrected after several years by court decision--which basically changed nothing--the state still does not pony up the money to fund poorer districts that are providing a "lesser" education to students...
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