Impact of Benning Growth Most Visible at On-Post Schools
While school districts neighboring Fort Benning have yet to see hard evidence that an influx of students will be enrolling for the coming school year, schools located on the post are getting ready for swelling enrollments as BRAC growth arrives in full force.
“Last year we had 355 students. We are at 400 as of a few minutes ago, and we’re expecting another 100 more between now and Christmas,” Renee Mallory, principal for one of six elementary schools at Benning, told WRBL News 3.
Muscogee County Schools, however, told the Ledger-Enquirer that so far they have only 54 registered students attributable to BRAC. Still, the district is expecting the numbers to grow over the next couple of months.
“We have a model that says we’re going to have about 4,000 students,” Superintendent Susan Andrews said, but “that model could be wrong.”
Similarly, many of Benning’s other neighboring school districts have heard from only a fraction of the total number of students they had been planning to enroll.
In terms of planning, on-post schools have an advantage because officials know exactly how many homes are in each of the installation’s residential neighborhoods.
“Most of these houses are four bedroom, so you’re going to have two to three kids in a lot of these houses. Outside of post they don’t even know what houses they are going to move into, so it’s a little more of a challenge for them to do that,” Mallory told WRBL.
All together BRAC is projected to bring 6,800 students to the Chattahoochee Valley in western Georgia.