Oil Boom Impacts Midland ISD

Oil Boom Impacts Midland ISD

Lack of housing, employee shortages among the issues facing MISD<br>
Midland -- As the rig count rises, so is the number of students at Midland ISD.

"I know per-registration has already gone through the roof," says MISD Superintendent Dr. Ryder Warren.

Dr. Warren says last year, over 22,000 students were enrolled in the district. This year, they're planning for over 23,000 students.  With 74 portable buildings, it's growth being felt at cramped MISD elementary schools across the city.
   
To deal with the growing number of students, the district also had to hire 330 new teachers. More students, more teachers, means more money. Dr. Warren says,  "We invested $6.1 million into our staff salaries from last budget cycle to this budget cycle. That's what's going to be reflected in salaries. $4.5 million of that is specifically earmarked for teachers."
   
All the growth has left the district facing the same challenges local businesses have been dealing with since the boom began. One being a lack of housing. "We probably had a half a dozen to ten contracts returned to us. We hired them in June or July, but they returned them to us because they couldn't find an affordable place to live," says Dr. Warren.
   
Just like restaurants, retailers, and more, the district is losing staff to high-paying jobs in the oil field. "We're down 50 bus drivers, over 80 food service workers, about 60 custodians because those folks are working the oilfield right now," says Dr. Warren.
   
The district obviously faces a lot of challenges this year, but Dr. Warren is excited that MISD Board of Trustees approved a $163 million bond proposal that would be used to improve current elementary schools and build three new ones. Midland will have a chance to vote this November.
   
So, how is the boom impacting ECISD? We'll find out in next week's Big 2 Energy Report airing next Thursday at 10pm.
   
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