From Small Things, big Things one day Come

Sept. 1, 2013
Explosive growth that in some years has reached 30 percent has fueled an express ride for Frisco, Texas, through the ranks of the nation’s school districts.

In 1986, enrollment numbers from the National Center for Education Statistics show that 6,262 school districts in the United States had more students than the Frisco (Texas) Independent School District, 30 miles north of Dallas. That year, 1,252 students attended classes in Frisco. In 1989-90, enrollment actually declined about 4 percent—to 1,237 from 1,289 the year before.

Since then, explosive growth that in some years has reached 30 percent has fueled an express ride for Frisco through the ranks of the nation’s school districts. In 2011-12, the school system’s enrollment of 39,903 was more than 31 times larger than its number of 25 years earlier. Frisco leaped over more than 6,000 school systems and by 2011-12 was the 135th-largest district in the United States.

The growth continues, and the 75-square-mile district is only 50 percent built out. It adds 2,500 to 3,000 a year and projects its 2013-14 enrollment to be 45,479.

Frisco had three schools in 1986. Since 1998, it has won voter approval in four elections for nearly $1.7 billion in bonds, and has built or is building more than 50 additional campuses. It plans to open its seventh high school in 2014, as well as its 34th and 35th elementary schools. In 2015, it is scheduled to open its eighth high school, 14th middle school and 36th elementary.

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