On Election Day, voters in Dallas Independent School District (DISD) passed two proposals totaling $3.54 billion for the funding of school buildings and technology, while failing three other proposals totaling $152.9 million that would have been spent on a performing arts facility, stadiums, and natatoriums.
The propositions do not affect tax rates this year, though they do authorize the levying of property taxes to repay the bonds.
The slate of tax increases was divided into five propositions, but Proposition A — branded as part of a racial equity project — was easily the most expensive at $3.27 billion which will be earmarked for the “construction, acquisition, acquisition, and equipment of school buildings and for the purchase of necessary sites for school buildings[.]”
Proposition A passed with 53 percent or 192,255 votes in favor and 47 percent or 170,308 votes against.
Proposition B was also successful but far less expensive. The $270 million package for “district technology equipment” was approved with a narrower margin of 52 percent or 187,264 votes in favor and 48 percent or 174,187 votes against.
Voters balked at the idea of Proposition C, which would have raised $53.3 million in taxes for district stadiums. 62 percent said no while only 38 percent voted to pass the measure, which amounted to 223,700 votes against and 136,352 votes in favor.
Proposition D failed with a smaller margin. The $66.1 million tax increase for a performing arts facility failed with 51 percent or 185,065 votes against and 49 percent or 174,761 in favor.
Proposition E was defeated decisively with 58 percent or 206,630 votes against and 42 percent or 151,502 in favor. If it had passed, $33.5 million would have been spent on natatoriums.
The series of bond proposals were together the most expensive in Texas history in a school district that is already $3.8 billion in debt. The five proposals passed the DISD Board of Trustees unanimously in August.
One of those trustees, Dustin Marshall of DISD District 2, is headed to a runoff with challenger Nancy Rodriguez on December 8.
The most recent count says Rodriguez won a plurality with 45 percent or 27,890 votes, while Marshall came in second with 40 percent or 24,753 votes. A third candidate, Alex Enriquez, lost to both with 15 percent or 9,034 votes.
Joe Carreon was elected trustee for DISD District 8 with 52 percent, which amounted to 12,634 votes. Alicia McClung received 48 percent with 11,546 votes.
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Hayden Sparks is a reporter for The Texan in Dallas. During the academic year, he coaches high school competitive speech and debate and has also been involved in community theater and politics. A native Texan, Hayden served as a delegate at the Republican Party of Texas Convention in 2016. He is on track to receive a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University. In his free time, Hayden is known to take walks around the neighborhood while listening to random music on Spotify.