Over the last 10 years, Central Texas has changed dramatically. The secret about what a great place this is to live is out, and we have experienced tremendous growth across every county throughout the region. We take pride in this growth as it speaks to a strong and diverse business environment and a high quality of life. However, our schools have struggled to keep pace with the sheer numbers of children and rapid changes to the student population – changes that require different support structures for students and teachers alike.
A snapshot of demographic changes to our student population over the last ten years shows:
- We have 39 percent more students in our public schools, almost twice the student growth rate of the state overall
- The percentage of students receiving special education services in our region has grown, while the state’s rate has decreased by more than 10 percent
- Our Hispanic student population has grown by more than 84 percent
- Our low income student population has grown by more than 94 percent
- Our English Language Learner (ELL) population has grown by an incredible 126 percent,. Some Central Texas districts now serve five times the number of ELLs as ten years ago.
The figure below illustrates changes in our low income student population across Central Texas over the last decade.