Katy ISD has lots and lots of portable buildings.  The District includes more of them in every bond referendum.

They are supposed to be part of KISD's "grand plan," but that's not what I see.

Portable buildings are used in various ways.  They mostly, in my opinion are a political tool.  Whenever the District wants to convince parents who aren't really paying attention, that their child's school is overcrowded and thus the District is in need of new bond money, they will load up the campus with a bunch of them.  Woodcreek Junior High and Woodcreek Elementary have been the targets of such a ploy for several years. The District runs this scam for as long as the parents are gullible. It's kind of taken the place of the former ploy of telling residents of Fleetwood, Thornwood, Memorial Thicket and Barker's Landing that Katy ISD was getting ready to shut down Wolfe Elementary every year right before the school board elections!

All one would have to do is look at the enrollment numbers and see that KISD has plenty of room for students if it would only rezone.

Of course rezoning is a political football, and elections have been lost over even the suggestion that one's child might be rezoned out of one's neighborhood!

Lest anyone forget, KISD schools are PUBLIC schools, and one is not promised that a nice new school will be available in every neighborhood and down the street from one's home.

But promised, they are. 

Any new Katy area developer shows up at the ESC soon after the plans are drawn and requests that the District build a new school so that buyers will locate in that particular developer's subdivision.  No one ever stops to think that this is not a good idea.  It used to be against the law, and school districts were fined $250 per student under capacity when the school opened if districts built schools before there were students to fill them.  I'm guessing the TASA probably was behind the "middle of the night" legislative change in THAT law.

Hopefully my readers will understand how such a practice is unethical, and even if it is now legal, it should not happen. If we had upstanding legislators, they would fix it back like it was, but "upstanding legislators" are hard to find these days.

Memorial Parkway Elementary was another school in 2014 that the District used to get votes.  There were so many portables around this school that one couldn't even see the school!  And Nottingham Country Elementary sat five minutes away at less than half of its capacity! What overcrowded this school were all the special programs, and they could have been placed anywhere.

Portables also seem not to be so portable. The last time I drove around to look, McRoberts Elementary had six portables, and it looked like they were all empty and not in use. They've been that way for years.  That's happening at a lot of schools.

Portables cost anywhere from $95,000 plus installation to $125,000 plus installation each. I'm guessing the district has 30 million bond dollars tied up in its 341 portable buildings. 

Want to know how many extra seats 341 portable buildings provide?  After removing the ones that are not used for student classes (5 of them), and estimating the capacity of those at elementary schools at 44 and at high schools at 70, there are 200 portables at elementary schools for a capacity of 8,800, and 136 portables at the junior and senior high schools for a capacity of 3,990.  That would be 12,790 spots for students that are never counted when they talk about the capacity of the schools!

It really is a phenomenal statistic.

  1.  Houston Chronicle article on KISD's Portable Buildings