• Concerned Citizens of Lakeland TN

Overcrowded? Says Who?

The Build-Now group has consistently cited 'overcrowding' as justification for their plan.  Here, we will review factual information regarding current school loading at Arlington.

This is from the 'Yes' group's website as of 3/15/20151:

The first thing that stands out is we really have 6.5 years left. 

High School Overcrowding

In a power point presentation presented on March 9 2015 there were several school board members in attendance at this meeting they were presented by AHS the actual enrollment information for the High School which is currently trending down. See below

They were also shown the REAL occupancy information which does not show 95% capacity it shows 86.3% capacity.  Whats the big deal it is only a few percentage points right? What the Yes group is NOT telling you is that the occupancy for zoned students is only 67.1% what this means is the 19.2% of students at the school are there because of open enrollment and with our agreement we have a reserved spot.  So the real occupancy of the High School is 67.1% when it comes to room for the Kids in Lakeland.  Do you still think we need a High School immediately because of overcrowding?

Middle School

According to Arlington School officials, there are 1,218 students currently at Arlington Middle School2. Using the 'Yes' group's number of 105.4% overcrowding, how many students does this represent?

  • “Overcrowded” number = (Capacity number) x (105.4%)
  • 1,218 = (Capacity number) x (105.4%)
  • Capacity number = 1,156
  • Number of students “overcrowded” = 1,218 - 1,156 = 62

There are two problems with the 'Yes' group's information:

  • It does not reflect the portable buildings AMS currently uses.
  • The reason AMS is currently 62 students “overcrowded” is due to a request from the Lakeland School Board to allow students living west of Canada Rd in Lakeland to attend AMS.

The 'Yes' group's 105.4% number is only accurate if you ignore portable classrooms and group all students in the main building, which is not what is currently happening. Counting portables, the student loading is really 96%3. So they are purposely not telling the whole story because it doesn’t fit their message. No matter how you feel about portable classrooms, not liking them doesn’t allow you to pretend they don’t exist and to purposely report inaccurate numbers.

For the second point, a little background is required. All Lakeland children living west of Canada Rd were originally zoned to attend Bon Lin Middle School. In response to a request from the Lakeland School Board, Arlington School officials added language in the 7 Year Agreement allowing students living west of Canada Rd in Lakeland to attend AMS4. They started this year with the 6th grade and are going to add on one grade each year, eventually incorporating all Lakeland 6-8th grade students in AMS.

To summarize:

  • Lakeland children west of Canada Rd were zoned to attend Bon Lin Middle
  • Lakeland School Board requested Arlington to put these children in AMS starting with the 6th grade this year
  • Arlington School officials agreed to this request and took approximately 70 additional Lakeland 6th grade children this year who live west of Canada Rd

This addition of Lakeland children rezoned at the request of our School Board represents about 70 children3, but they are complaining about "overcrowding" of 62 children.

The same people on the Lakeland School Board who asked Arlington to accept additional Lakeland children at AMS are now trying to use the “overcrowding” they created as justification for new school construction!


[1] Yes for Lakeland website
[2] Arlington CIP Meeting presentation 22 January 2015
[3] Data from Arlington School Superintendent’s office
[4] Interlocal Agreement

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