Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Updates on Elections, Budgets, and DISD Collegiate Academies


Voters in eastern Dallas County elected new representatives on the DCCCD Board of Trustees in runoff elections on June 18.

In District 3, which covers the northeastern quadrant of Dallas County, including Sachse, Garland, Rowlett, Lake Highlands and other parts of Northeast Dallas, Dorothy Zimmermann was elected over Tommy Reed to succeed Trustee Jerry Prater.

In District 4, which covers the southeastern wedge of Dallas County stretching from Lakewood and parts of East Dallas and Pleasant Grove to Mesquite, Sunnyvale, Seagoville and Balch Springs, Monica Lira Bravo was elected over Martha Jo Talbot to succeed Trustee Bill Metzger.

Lira Bravo and Zimmermann will be sworn into office on June 29.

In May, voters in District 2 elected Phil Ritter over three other candidates to succeed Trustee Bob Ferguson. Ritter was sworn in to office on June 7.


With these three new trustees joining incumbents Charletta Rogers Compton, Diana Flores, Wesley Jameson, and Sonny Williams, according to this Schedule for Tax Rate and Budget Adoption, the Board is expected to set the property tax rates and adopt a budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year on Tuesday, September 6.

As of June, DCCCD Chief Financial Officer John Robertson predicts Dallas County will see a 9-10 percent increase in the Taxable Assessed Value (TAV) of all real property in Dallas. As a result, Robertson plans to recommend Chancellor May ask the Board of Trustees to reduce our tax rate slightly and keep tuition rates the same, while still keeping revenues at a level that supports maintaining instructional and student services. When asked by the DCCFA president why the District would not keep the rate the same and use the resultant budget increase to fund longstanding areas of need, Robertson said that keeping the rate the same as 2015-2016 would put the DCCCD Board of Trustees perilously close to triggering a state law that would allow a rollback election to take place, which could result in a significantly lower tax rate and drastically reduced tax revenues. (More information on rollback rates and elections can be explored in more detail at this link and this link.)

In a meeting with the faculty council on June 3, and again at the Chancellor’s Staff meeting on June 13, Chancellor May said that the projected increased tax revenues - even with a slightly lower tax rate - would allow for employee compensation increases. However, the amount and shape of such compensation increases will depend on the final certified TAV, and the tax rate the Board of Trustees ultimately approves at the September 6 meeting.


The Faculty Council meets monthly with the seven college academic vice presidents and the dean of distance education from the LeCroy Center. The group refers to itself as “The Instructional Leadership Team” (TILT).

The TILT group met Monday, June 20, to discuss an agenda that included the 2016-2017 faculty search timeline and updates on the chancellors faculty fellows, mentors, and pay for performance programs. In addition, numerous faculty have raised concerns about faculty input in curriculum development and faculty primacy in textbook selections related to the DISD Collegiate Academies initiative that is launching numerous Early College High Schools with six of the seven DCCCD colleges. Consequently, TILT also invited Anna Mays, associate vice chancellor, and Patti Burks, faculty representative, to update the group on the Collegiate Academies. Previous updates from Patti Burks were posted on the DCCFA Advance Blog in June and May and April. The TILT group learned that only a small number of courses – to be offered to ninth graders – will be offered in 2016-2017. District officials remain committed to faculty selecting textbooks and other classroom materials throughout the Collegiate Academies partnership. Moreover, faculty in the specific career and technical education programs selected for the partnership increasingly are being involved in determining curriculum and scheduling decisions. The group also identified an area of opportunity for increased communication with, and input from, District discipline committees, particularly those which oversee general education courses within the CTE certificate and degree plans.

The issue of textbook selections has been raised on numerous occasions over the past year. Chancellor May repeatedly has affirmed that he respects the right and responsibility of faculty to select their own textbooks. Additional information about the textbooks issue can be found in this June 2016 post, this June 2016 post, and this October 2015 post on the DCCFA Advance Blog.

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