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Dallas ISD Trustees Decide Not To Put Tax Ratification Election On November Ballot

Bill Zeeble

The Dallas school board Thursday night voted against putting a tax ratification election before voters this fall. 

The proposed 13-cent tax hike would have given the district $100 million to fund early childhood education and early college high school programs. The district also wanted to expand a program that pays extra money to top teachers who take jobs in some of the district’s toughest schools.

School board member Miguel Solis says he was disappointed by Thursday night’s vote.

“It’s extremely unfortunate that a majority of my colleagues did not join together to offer the voters an opportunity to determine whether or not they wanted to help us expand highly successful programs that would benefit thousands of children for future generations but most importantly for current students,” he said. “I hope we can continue the conversation about identifying ways to try to expand these programs to scale. It does not look promising. The legislative agenda will be bleak. I don’t expect the cavalry to support us. And so, unfortunately, it’s back to the drawing board for us at Dallas ISD.” 

School board member Joyce Foreman voted against the tax ratification election. She told KERA before the vote that money should go where it’s most needed.

“For instance if there was dedicated money to deferred maintenance,” she said. “I have an interest when you look at the schools in my area and how they’ve gone down and we’re not getting any of the new schools. I would certainly have an interest in that.”

School board President Lew Blackburn says he’s still open to an election, perhaps next May – but that some board members need more time to study the matter. To entice other trustees, he says a new plan might include money to pay for school repairs.

Last year, Dallas ISD voters approved a $1.6 billion bond package.

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.