Frisco, Texas – In the rapidly expanding city of Frisco, a vigorous expansion in housing, burgeoning commercial sectors, and the much-anticipated arrival of a Universal theme park have transformed the landscape. However, this robust growth may have precipitated a quandary for residents who were initially drawn to the city’s top-tier educational opportunities, particularly the A-rated Frisco Independent School District (Frisco ISD).
The district is on the fast track to becoming one of the most swiftly expanding in the country. According to reports from Frisco ISD in December, one middle school and three high schools have reached maximum capacity. Consequently, the imminent 2023-24 academic year may present challenges as some prospective students face the disconcerting prospect of being redirected to an alternative educational institution, an unexpected twist for parents who invested in property within this district with specific educational aspirations for their children.
Data gleaned from Txschools.gov attests to the burgeoning student population within the district. It reveals an impressive enrollment figure of 65,167 students for the 2021-22 academic term, illustrating the scale of the district’s operation and the extent of its growth.
Projected forecasts further underscore the dynamism of this growth trend. During a district board meeting towards the end of 2022, officials expressed anticipation for a surge in the student population over the next decade. In five years, the enrollment figure is projected to soar to 70,434, followed by a further climb to 72,872 students in a ten-year timeframe.
This growth trend has taken some professionals by surprise. Lauran Ituarte, the Vice President of Sales for “The North” office of Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty in Plano, stated that the news was wholly unexpected by the real estate fraternity in Frisco. This burgeoning enrollment is a development that could have significant implications for future property transactions and the city’s demographic structure.
“From my understanding, basically anybody who moves in now will not be grandfathered into those particular schools, even if the family leaving … if there were three kids in the household, there will not be three new spots,” Ituarte said, as reported by CandysDirt. “They will be bused to different schools within Frisco ISD, and some of these schools are quite far away from where they’re actually living. This will be a big challenge. This is pivotal. This could be a dealbreaker. These are the most popular schools that are being affected.”
Some schools in Frisco ISD are operating at their max capacities
Nelson Middle School, Lebanon Trail High School, Reedy High School, and Wakeland High School are identified as the academic institutions grappling with the impact of the district’s burgeoning student population.
One viable strategy to address the issue is the redrawing of attendance zone boundaries. This process mirrors mandatory municipal redistricting initiatives that redistribute urban growth. However, such alterations could bisect communities and precipitate unexpected changes in municipal representation for residents.
“This happened in the Lakewood area,” Ituarte said. “It happens all the time, but it’s new to people in ‘The North.’ If you’re moving to Frisco to go to a particular school, I can see this being harmful. There is no guarantee that you’re going to stay at the school you were originally zoned for.”
The discourse surrounding redistricting at state and local levels often centers on racial segregation and gerrymandering. However, within the school district, the focal point of these discussions tends to be the quality of a child’s education. There exists an expectation among some homebuyers that their children will join the same school as their friends and neighbors, thus partaking in athletics and extracurricular activities in the school nearest to their residence.
“Frisco ISD seeks to educate students in schools as close to their homes as possible,” Superintendent Mike Waldrip said on the district’s website. “However, in order to effectively and efficiently utilize space, more than one school can become a consideration for a neighborhood or area based on its location. This is particularly the case in areas where FISD has schools in close proximity to one another. This means that during the boundary modification process, neighborhoods may be moved to existing schools or to campuses that are not the closest in proximity.”
To assist homeowners in navigating these changes, the Frisco attendance zone website allows them to input their address and ascertain their child’s school assignment.
The district is also addressing the influx of students by constructing new campuses. Furthermore, it maintains transparency by making readily available information about its owned land and prospective plans for additional campuses.
Meanwhile, Frisco’s hosing market is exploding
Projected to redefine the residential landscape of the district by 2032, three significant real estate developments – Fields near Legacy Drive, Brinkmann Ranch at the intersection of Coit Road and Main Street, and the Grove nestled between Custer and Stacy roads – will collectively inject approximately 13,000 fresh households into the community, according to forecasts from Frisco Independent School District officials.
Fehmi Karahan, a notable property developer, is spearheading the ambitious undertaking of infusing several thousand residences into his diversified $10 billion Fields Frisco project. Situated adjacent to the luxurious Omni PGA Frisco Resort, the venture drew attention last summer for its principal attractive feature – the highly-regarded local school district.
Without a doubt, Frisco exudes a compelling allure for the retiree and empty-nester demographic. It boasts convenient access to premium golf courses and a profusion of opulent custom homes in various stages of construction and completion. In addition, a substantial segment of families opts to have their children either homeschooled or enrolled in private educational institutions.
Jeff Cheney, the incumbent mayor of Frisco and representative for Monument Realty, asserted in February that the prospect of over-development was not a concern for the well-orchestrated city. As Frisco edges towards saturation, he maintained that the responsibility to enlighten potential home buyers regarding their investment’s ramifications rests on the shoulders of real estate agents. Cheney also highlighted the critical role of schools in the decision-making process for prospective homeowners, especially given the high esteem in which Frisco’s district is held throughout the state.
Accompanying the robust pipeline of single-family homes poised to grace Frisco’s residential market, city officials have projected the unveiling of more than 21,000 apartment units within the next ten years. This reflects the city’s comprehensive strategy to provide a diverse range of housing options catering to varied lifestyle and budgetary preferences.