SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. -There are too many students, but not enough room. This could be almost any school district in the country, but the focus of this article is on the Central Valley School District.
Overcrowding has been an issue for years, but the district is working hard to fix the problem before it gets worse.
Part of the solution was on display Tuesday night, where the district dedicated Opportunity Elementary School.
The school is one of eight renovation projects in the district paid for by a voter-approved bond in 2015. The district has built, or are currently building, four other schools with money from the same bond.
With these additions, the school district has been able to increase student enrollment and add even more teachers, reducing the classroom size.
“I’m able to hit each and every kid in each subject every day,” said first-grade teacher at Opportunity, Becky Banks. “It’s unbelievable the amount of time you can give each student and the intention to which you can approach their learning.”
While the projects from the 2015 construction bond have helped reduce elementary and middle school overcrowding, the district needs voters to approve a 2018 construction bond if they want to make a dent in the overflowing high schools.
Currently, there are 4,324 high school students enrolled in the district. That’s 1,292 over capacity. By 2021, the district expects student enrollment to increase to 4,492.
The proposed 2018 bond projects include a new high school and middle school, and the renovation of Horizon Middle School.
The bond of $129.9 million would mean taxpayers with a median household with an assessed value of $171,900 would continue to pay roughly $307 each year for the completion of the projects.
The vote for the construction bond is on February 13th.