Axtell School Superintendent Travis Ellison said last week 60 white and 10 Negro students are attending his schools from Mt. Carmel Center.
The students are children of Davidians gathered at the center — 941 acres of land near Elk — in anticipation of global events they claim will happen this spring that will lead “to the establishment of God’s kingdom in the Mid-east.”
The school had to get an extra bus from the county and hire another driver to provide transportation for the students.
Ellison said the new students were absorbed “real well” without overcrowding or forcing the school to hire additional teachers. They were spread throughout all grades.
Regular enrollment is 205 students.
The students do not have to pay tuition since they have taken residence at the center. Residence can be temporary or permanent for children to qualify.
The schools will be re-imbursed under the state’s average daily attendance (ADA) program, which pays a major part of the state’s share of schooling.
Ellison said all the students at the center who are eligible to attend are attending as far as he knows.
“The people at the center have been real cooperative,” said Ellison. “They are sending the students to school of their own accord.”
Under the state compulsory attendance law all children between seven and 16 years of age must attend school.
Ellison said his school usually has six or even regular students from the center and “they are always most cooperative. They’re real nice folks.”
“The children have adjusted well and in another week they’ll be right at home,” he said. “They’re not putting us out a bit.”
The students’ homes range from Florida to Washington, and some are from Canada.
Ellison said the schools would not lose any money on them because of the ADA. It will just cost a little more for transportation.
School officials in Waco and La Vega said no Davidian children have registered at their schools.