By Jubenal Aguilar
Dallas County residents will vote on a $1.1 billion bond program for the Dallas County Community College District in the upcoming joint election. The bond proposal will be placed in the May 4 election ballot.
The bond program was recommended by DCCCD Chancellor Joe May, and authorized by the board of trustees during the board’s regular monthly meeting Feb. 5, according to a Feb. 6 press release by Ann Hatch, district director of media relations.
“The Dallas County Community College District is totally committed to the success of our students and the communities we serve,” May said following the board meeting. “DCCCD started a journey five years ago that involved identifying what the community needs are and any gaps that existed which we needed to fill. The bond program that our trustees approved today represents far-reaching efforts to meet those needs.”
The bond program will not increase property taxes, according to DCCCD website.
The general obligation bonds will be sold over a six-year period, according to an article in the Feb. 19 student newsletter, and will be used “to fund new facilities, resources and technology to support your success, the community, businesses and workforce and economic development.”
Early voting will take place April 22-30, according to dcccd.edu. The main early polling location will be at the George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building in downtown Dallas. Additional early voting locations can be found at dallascountyvotes.org.
According to the press release, Diana Flores, chair of the DCCCD board of trustees, said, “The bond election our board approved … reflects the strategic priorities we have set for this district. Those priorities and other initiatives all are part of DCCCD’s integrated higher education network, which has been created to build student success, help solve income disparities in our communities and provide an educated workforce, too.”
The construction of an education and innovation hub is one of the priorities which will be funded by the bond. A new Dallas Education and Innovation Hub planned for construction in downtown Dallas will serve the entire county, according to dcccd.edu. The hub will include a Business Training Center, as well as a redesigned El Centro College.
Facilities across DCCCD will support the continued growth of the district. Enrollment is expected to increase by approximately 12,000 students – a total of 92,000 credit students – by 2030. This projected increase will come from programs such as the Dallas County Promise, early college high schools and dual credit, as well as other efforts the district may implement to meet the state’s 60X30TX goals, a statewide initiative to increase the number of degrees and certificates earned.
Funds from the bond election will also be used to produce a workforce that is better aligned with industry standards, according to dcccd.edu.
“DCCCD serves as the North Texas region’s primary provider for the area’s talent supply chain,” May said. “These general obligation bonds represent an investment in the region’s workforce and economic development, which sustain the state, as well as our students and the communities we serve.”
High-demand fields including allied health, culinary arts, information technology, construction, business and early childhood education are among the areas the district plans to invest in by providing equipment, talent and resources for industry-aligned education and training programs.