COPPERAS COVE — A demographic study projects the Copperas Cove Independent School District will have between 9,056 and 9,843 students by 2022.
The district counted 8,124 students this school year, according to August enrollment figures.
Studying Cove ISD was a challenge, as the district is not like most school districts throughout the state, said Pat Guseman, with Population and Survey Analysts, which provided the study.
About 54 percent of the district’s parents hold government positions, compared to Texas as a whole, which only has about 7 percent working for the government.
Since government-funded programs have been in limbo, it has created uncertainty among people working in the positions, Guseman said. That uncertainly is anticipated to last at least another two years. Troop levels and the role of the U.S. military are other contributing factors to the area’s population.
“If you have unstable employment, then it is going to have a trickle-down effect on things such as buying a house,” Guseman said, noting moving to a new home could affect student population.
Losing federal Impact Aid also may affect the district and cause it to stop offering prekindergarten transfer students. That would cause the student population to decline over the next two years with slower growth until 2017, according to the study’s projections.
If Impact Aid stays in place, growth would continue with sharper inclines after 2017, Guseman said.
Other factors, such as the area’s random birth rates, which could be related to Fort Hood deployments, also created sporadic data, Guseman said.
“See, again, a sort of a psychotic situation,” Guseman said about the birth rates. While the student populations showed differences, the study stated more students will likely come from homes being built in the northern portions of the district.
About 1,500 single-family homes are projected to be built by 2022, with about 2,710 single-family homes and 238 multifamily residences being constructed throughout the district, the study stated.
“I don’t think that it is a surprise that the next (school district) facility will be in the north,” said Kris Pool, also with Population and Survey Analysts. “The question is timing.”
Pool said most districts start to plan for a new school when a facility reaches 120 percent capacity, which Cove ISD’s elementary schools have yet to reach. The high school has already reached the number, so the district should start addressing its future plans for those students, Pool said.