EL PASO, Texas - Ysleta Independent School District was one of the largest school districts in El Paso, second only to the El Paso ISD. But today, YISD is neck and neck with the Socorro ISD which is growing every year.
Their shrinking population is seen in schools, some which are operating below 50 percent capacity. And the trend is expected to continue --which is why the YISD board voted to commission a demographics study.
The district is calling it "a snapshot of the future." The board wants to know where the district is growing, where it's shrinking, where it could build new schools, and where half-empty schools should be shut down.
"We are landlocked, we are the inner city of El Paso," said Associate Superintendent of Finance Rolyne Kafka.
Even though the district allows open enrollment, accepting kids from outside the YISD isn't helping. Kafka says their 10 percent of the residents in YISD are above 65.
And younger families aren't moving into the established homes in East El Paso, but into starter homes on the city's outskirts.
"You look at where the new real estate is developing now, it's in the Canutillo's, and the Clint and Socorro's on the Eastside," Kafka said.
"To see those numbers diminish, it's unfortunate because for those of us who grew up in those times, the sense of pride isn't what it is now," said former student Ross Mota said.
Currently the YISD is supplying the Templeton Group out of Austin with district data.
Once they do that, Templeton will begin the demographics study. The district hopes to have the final numbers before the bond election on July 19th.