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Midland ISD discusses the permanent home of YWLA at board meeting

The board is considering two options for the Young Women's Leadership Academy. Keep the school at its location or transition students to Washington STEM Academy.

MIDLAND, Texas — Midland ISD held a special board meeting Wednesday night to discuss a big topic at hand, the permanent home for the Young Women's Leadership Academy.

During the meeting, two options were presented to trustees. The first option is to continue buying portables and keep the YWLA students where they are. The second option is to transition YWLA to an already existing MISD school, Washington STEM Academy.

According to Kellie Spencer, Chief of Administrative Services with MISD, Washington was the best choice of school because there's enough land for staff, students and parking. There are 26 classrooms that exceed 700 sq. ft., six labs that exceed 1000 sq. ft. and it is currently the most underutilized facility in the district.

However, this school choice doesn't sit too well with some parents and community members in attendance at the meeting.

"What do we tell our babies? What do I tell my niece," said Matt Galindo, a parent of MISD students. “What we’re trying to do and the reason for being out there is to ensure our kids on the east and south side are able to have schools in our neighborhood that we can attend."

Galindo isn't against YWLA, but just doesn't think it's fair to relocate the kids in Washington.

“We’re not against YWLA, we want those young ladies to succeed like every other child in Midland," said Galindo. "However, we do not want to give up one of our neighborhood campuses so that someone else can succeed. We should be able to send our babies there to that school and give them a good shot and a good education as well."

Galindo said some community members' connection to the school runs deep.

“You know they kept saying it’s not a neighborhood school, to us it’s a neighborhood school because it’s in our neighborhood," said Galindo. "It’s in our community, that’s why we were so adamant about saying these are our neighborhood schools because some folks, their families grew up there, live there, everyone went there."

A decision for YWLA is set to be made by this month or January at the latest. If option two is approved, students and staff at Washington STEM Academy will be relocated and given priority to attend other schools, or if eligible can apply to YWLA.