While many people are out looking for Bluebonnets this time of year, Jarrell ISD Superintendent Dr. Bill Chapman is keeping an eye on the ground as well. But in this case, he’s not searching for native flora, but anything rising from the earth that could be indicative of new housing in one of the fastest growing communities in Central Texas.
Within the last five years, the Jarrell school district has grown by more than 33%, or over 500 students. Current enrollment stands at 1,540 students and is continually growing. Why? The obvious answer is affordable housing and quality of life. Home prices in Jarrell are as much as $50,000 less than areas just to the south because of substantially lower land development costs. The east side of Jarrell has been unofficially nicknamed “affordable housing for Georgetown,” with LGI offering “quick move in, from $719 per month” on their homes.
The unprecedented growth created by these new homes is why the Jarrell Independent School District is asking voters to approve a $54M school bond on May 6. This funding will bring a second elementary school, which would open in the fall of 2019; add an auditorium at the high school; and add twelve classrooms at the middle school. Approval of this bond will result in an increase of $0.17 per $100 assessed value in the district’s tax rate. Currently, the tax rate is $1.37 per $100.
It seems obvious that without this financial intervention, Jarrell ISD’s quality of education would quickly deteriorate for the simple reason that there will not be enough space to place students as every aspect of the system is constantly stressed by increasing enrollment. It is therefore the judgment of the Editorial Board of The Advocate that a ‘Yes’ vote should be cast for this very important election on May 6th. The future of the children of Jarrell depends on it!