Williamson Co. schools adding space to keep up with demand - CBS 5 - KPHO

Williamson Co. schools adding space to keep up with demand

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FRANKLIN, TN (WSMV) -

There's a bit of an arithmetic problem at one of the state's most desirable school districts. More families want to send their children to Williamson County Schools, but the district needs to add space to keep up.

The Williamson County School District is expecting at least 1,000 new students this year, in the biggest student population increase since 2006, and there is no slow-down in sight.

For the second year in a row, the district had the top TCAP scores in the state, and parents are taking notice. Reading and science scores alone are 30 percent higher in Williamson County than statewide scores, making the district's schools very desirable.

"This is going to be a banner year," said Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney.

A chamber of commerce survey shows more parents move into Williamson County for its schools than for any other reason, and the county plans to build five new schools in the next five years.

And the funding appears to be there, because new housing starts help the tax base.

"We're going to continue pushing the limits academically, in the arts and athletics. This year we're going to be intently focused on our goal standard, which is a 24 ACT score for our district," Looney said.

But even as more students pour into the district, Looney remains steadfast in the plan to keep class sizes low.

And consider that Williamson County spends about $8,000 per student, compared to about $12,000 per student in Metro schools, the district remains a bargain for the taxpayer.

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