Richardson October 2021

Demographics for the 2020-21 school year show the diversity of students in the two school districts that operate within Richardson’s city boundaries. Plano ISD

3X COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR

DIVERSITY IN SCHOOLS

Richardson ISD

SOURCE: TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCYCOMMUNITY IMPACT NEWSPAPER

culturally responsive teaching frame- work and auditing tool to ensure that students see themselves reected in their learning. RISD is also in its third year of oering an ethnic studies pro- gram, Lee said. “Our data indicates that there’s a need for culturally relevant teaching in our classrooms, especially because of how diverse our classrooms are,” she said. The district also made an eort to diversify its board of trustees follow- ing a 2018 lawsuit that alleged Voting Rights Act violations. At the heart of the lawsuit was RISD’s student demo- graphics, which had shifted to major- ity non-white while the makeup of the school board had remained the same, the lawsuit claimed. Upon settling the lawsuit in 2019, RISDmoved to a majority single-mem- ber district system, in which ve of its seven board members are elected by residents of specic areas. This system was intended to place more minority trustees on the board. That same year, Regina Harris was elected as the rst Black woman to serve on the RISD board. The following year, Debbie Rentería became the dis- trict’s rst Hispanic trustee. “My presence on the board speaks volumes,” Harris said. “Once we are out there in the community, being very active and proactive to show that some- one like me can be in this position, it’s very impactful to our students.” Student growth Some of Richardson’s growth can also be attributed to an intentional move by The University of Texas at Dallas to invest in student housing. The number of students attending UT Dallas grew by 73% between 2010 and 2021, according to data from the university. Preliminary gures show there were 29,698 students enrolled this fall. By 2030, the university hopes to reach 35,000 students. UT Dallas had long been known as a commuter school, but in the

mid-aughts, a decision was made to add more beds to campus, said Calvin Jamison, vice president for facilities and economic development. At the time, there were 2,500 beds. In 2009, the university opened its rst resi- dence hall, which added 400 beds. Fast forward to this year, and the university has 5,200 beds on cam- pus, plus more than 2,500 beds at Northside, a mixed-use development adjacent to campus geared toward stu- dents. All of these options comprise about 8,000 beds, Jamison said. The university plans to accommo- date future students by replacing some of its older housing inventory with more densely designed housing, Jamison said. Next steps Now that the city has its census data, sta can assess current and future infrastructure needs, Senior Planner Keith Krum said. Voelker said he does not anticipate the city’s population growing past 135,000 residents. Population counts gathered through the census are used to dictate the size and location of City Council districts in Richardson. All council members are elected at-large; how- ever, four of the seven members must live within a specic place. The city charter dictates that every 10 years a commission of registered voters reviews council boundaries to ensure they are equal from a popula- tion perspective, Assistant City Man- ager Shanna Sims-Bradish said. Council should appoint that group early next year, Sims-Bradish said. The commission then has six months to review the data and recommend any revisions to the boundaries. A vote on the new council map is expected in mid-2022.

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RICHARDSON EDITION • OCTOBER 2021

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