Central Florida's growing population puts strain on local schools

Central Florida's growing population puts strain on local schools

OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. — New census numbers show Orlando is one of the largest-growing metropolitan areas in the nation.
 
The growth is placing a large amount of pressure on local schools, where thousands of students are expected to enroll.
 
Channel 9 learned that more portable classrooms will be added to Osceola County schools by the summer.
 
"Our revenue sources are there. It's just, you know, it lags a little bit by the time the students are here (and) by the time we get the money and (are) able to build new schools," Osceola County Schools Chief Facilities Officer Clyde Wells said.
 
The numbers showed the Orlando area added 60,000 people in 2015, which was among the most in the country.

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“Orange County and Osceola County have extremely high growth rates, especially Osceola being one of the fastest-growing in the nation, and the home growth is going right along with it,” Adrianna Sekula of the Greater Orlando Builders Association said.

Local districts are looking for ways to fit in all the students -- Lake County may open two schools by 2020, and Orange County may need up to 12 new schools. Osceola County said it plans to add classrooms and redistrict by next year.

“Through redistricting, we're able to balance our district zones to keep all of our schools in balance.” Wells said.

The Osceola County school district received $4 million from the state and plans to use the money to add space at a new school for 600 students. The county expects to add 10,000 students over the next five years.

The county hopes new charter schools will enroll some of the students and ease the strain on traditional schools.