Private School Inquiries Increasing

Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - State budget cuts are cutting down on Midland ISD.

They've already had to shut down two early childhood development centers and move those programs into other schools.

Without knowing just how much state cuts will affect public schools until they come down, an increase in private enrollment is showing its face.

"I have done a lot of interviews with parents coming through and looking at our school program," Sharel Sims, Hillcrest School Dean of Students, said.

Sims said her program serves 4th through 12th graders.

She told NewsWest 9 that this Spring has already brought eight new enrollments for next year, something she's never seen before.

Sims said all the MISD parents calling her school have concerns about their kids falling through the cracks.

"First question is: What is your class size?" Sims said. "They've got students that are perhaps transferring from elementary school into junior high school, and they are worried. Concerned that when they go into a larger high school that may have had some cuts in programs that they may not be getting the ongoing extra help that they're used to."

And over at Trinity School of Midland, they're seeing the same trend.

"There have been, again, MISD families that are looking at Trinity as a potential setting for their children," Trinity School Director of Admissions, Adrianne Clifton, said. "Because, I think, out of the fear of the unknown. They're not sure what things will look like in the Fall for their children."

Clifton confirmed that some MISD families have already enrolled at Trinity and that she continues to receive calls from other parents in the public sector.

Clifton said they're interested in Trinity's smaller class size and smaller teacher-to-student ratio.

"Kindergarten through 4th grade classrooms, we keep it one to 18, and then as we move into the middle school and upper school grades, we actually go lower than that, we strive to keep it one to 15."

MISD Superintendent Ryder Warren told NewsWest 9 in the past that they're going to keep the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible.

But local private schools said it's the "what-ifs" that are driving this new trend.