May Election to Include $1 Billion Bond Program for Dallas County’s Community Colleges

Dallas community college officials want voters to spend $1.1 billion to address workforce needs, expanded facilities to boost college offerings to high school students and build other community college programs. The Dallas County Community College District board on Tuesday approved the May 4 bond election. If voters approve the bonds, DCCCD would maintain the current tax rate that is a total of 12.4 cents per $100 of assessed property value. Officials want to use the funds to build a Dallas Education and Innovation Hub in downtown Dallas. The hub would include a business training center, which would mean completely redesigning the El Centro campus to accommodate it. DCCCD officials say enrollment will rise to about 92,000 students from about 80,000 in the next few years, largely because of partnerships with area high schools. The district's partnership programs offer courses to young teens through dual-credit and 31 early college high schools, which has many of those students at a DCCCD campus. They also participate in the Dallas County Promise, which covers the cost of tuition at any DCCCD campus for participating students for up to three years. This is only the third bond program in the district's history. Voters last approved a bond package 15 years ago. That one totaled $450 million.Officials said they can maintain the same tax rate as the debt will be spread out over six years and covered in part by increases to valuation on taxable property in the county.  Continue reading...

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