Data from the Killeen Independent School District shows a drop in the number of enrolled students living on post.
A recent report showed an 11 percent decrease in the number of students who live at Fort Hood over the last five years.
Those figures show the largest decrease — 703 students — occurred between the current and previous school years. The numbers reflect Killeen ISD students who live on Fort Hood property and attend school at campuses both on and off post.
The report said 5,866 students live on post currently, and 6,653 students lived on post during the 2008-2009 school year.
Despite the on-post student decrease, the district has seen overall enrollment grow at a rapid pace over the last 10 years, exploding from about 29,400 in the 1999-2000 school year to nearly 42,000 students last year.
While the current school year is just beginning, the most recent data shows the district saw a 1.3 percent decrease in overall enrollment from the previous school year.
As of Oct. 22, the official Killeen ISD enrollment was 41,414.
“Our civilian growth is still increasing,” said Jeff Heckathorn, the district’s demographer. “It’s the military side that knocked us down when it comes to our growth rate.”
Heckathorn presented the data to members of the district’s board of trustees at an Oct. 22 workshop.
Col. Matt Elledge, Fort Hood’s garrison commander, also attended the meeting. He indicated the drop could be a refection, in part, of drawdowns impacting the military across the country.
“There are peaks and valleys as we go in and out of combat,” Elledge said, referring to Fort Hood’s population. “The Army is transforming.”
Elledge said he expects Fort Hood to see a decrease of 2,900 soldiers between now and 2017. The installation has a military assigned population of just more than 42,000, with about 17,846 on-post family members, according to information Elledge provided to board members.
The decrease in the number of students living on Fort Hood also could be the result of fewer families choosing to live in on-post housing.
Elledge said that while Fort Hood saw nearly 100 percent housing occupancy in the past, about 300 housing units currently remain open.
“There’s a plethora of housing (available) off post,” Elledge said.
While fewer students may be living on post, the Killeen district still saw growth in other areas. The district’s “Featherline South” zone saw an increase of 170 students from the previous year, and a 220.4 percent increase in enrollment over the last five years. The district is currently building a 33rd elementary school in the southern part of the district, which is expected to open for the 2014-2015 school year.
By the numbers
- 41,414 students currently enrolled in Killeen ISD schools.
- 5,866 students currently living on post.
- 703 fewer students live on Fort Hood this year than last.
- 11.2 percent decrease in Fort Hood enrollment over the last five years.
Contact Chris McGuinness at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7568. Follow him on Twitter at ChrismKDH.