Alice ISD won’t be saddled with long bus rides and the financial burden of being in the same district with schools in Eagles Pass and south San Antonio after all.
After hearing arguments by Alice school superintendent Dr. Grace Everett and Calallen superintendent Artie Almendarez at a hearing in Austin Thursday morning, the District Assignment Appeals Committee of the University Interscholastic League voted unanimously to move both schools into District 30-5A.
The move creates an 11-team district in the Coastal Bend. While it was unclear immediately how the schools would handle such a large district, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison said during the hearing that the district could be broken up into zones. UIL executive director Dr. Charles Breithaupt said by rule an 11-team district could not be created, but that the committee had been granted authorization to do so prior to the hearing.
District 30-5A now includes Alice, Calallen, Corpus Christi Carroll, King, Miller, Moody, Ray, Veterans Memorial, Flour Bluff,  Gregory-Portland and Tuloso-Midway.
Initially, when the UIL’s biennial reclassification and realignment was announced on Feb. 1, Alice was placed in District 29-5A, which included Calallen, Eagle Pass Winn, Floresville, San Antonio Harlendale, San Antonio McCollum, San Antonio Southside and Uvalde.
During the hearing Thursday morning, Everett argued to the committee that being in the loosely scattered District 29-5A would cause excessive travel and create an economic hardship for the school district and the community, which has already been hit hard financially because of the recent loss of oilfield jobs and tax revenue.
Almendarez spoke first on Calallen’s behalf and stated that the travel time and the amount of classroom time local students would have to miss by being in 29-5A would create a hardship for his school. Almendarez used a map to display the excessive travel, which included a seven-hour trip to Eagle Pass.
Earlier this week, while preparing for the UIL hearing, newly-hired Alice head coach and athletic director Justen Evans said he is confident that Alice could be successful and thrive in the competitive Coastal Bend district.