Community Hubs Small But Impactful Part of Dallas ISD Bond

What does $3.7 billion get you? Because of state law, you will see five different measures on your ballot that will address everything from the $1.9 billion in facilities upgrades across the entire district plus construction of 10 new facilities and the replacement of 14 campuses for $1.1 billion. Technology needs will account for $270 million, $124 million will go to athletics upgrades, and $41 million will create community service investments in four formerly segregated and redlined neighborhoods. A performing arts center and a natatorium are also in the works.

But over at our sister site, D Magazine, Matt Goodman breaks down one small part of the bond package that may have some of the biggest impact.

“The most interesting portion of Dallas ISD’s historic bond is a speck of the $3.7 billion it is asking for,” he writes. “Proposition A allocates $3.27 billion for fixing up many of its campuses, which are an average of 52 years old. Inside that is $41 million that will provide wraparound services to communities that need them, using data and community input to guide the investments.

“Its funding mechanism—a bond approved by voters—is, by most accounts, a unique way to pay for such an option. Because it is a bond, the district is obligated to build something. There will be physical structures housing critical services that communities lack, whether that be healthy food or mental health services. It will start with four such structures that will operate in school feeder patterns in West Dallas, Pleasant Grove, South Dallas, and Oak Cliff. The determination of where to spend this bond money was based on something called a Community Resource Index.”

Read more of the piece here.

Bethany Erickson

Bethany Erickson, deputy editor at People Newspapers, cut her teeth on community journalism, starting in Arkansas. Recently, she's taken home a few awards for her writing, including first place for her tornado coverage from the National Newspapers Association's 2020 Better Newspaper Contest, a Gold award for Best Series at the 2018 National Association of Real Estate Editors journalism awards, a 2018 Hugh Aynesworth Award for Editorial Opinion from the Dallas Press Club, and a 2019 award from NAREE for a piece linking Medicaid expansion with housing insecurity. She is a member of the Education Writers Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the National Association of Real Estate Editors, the News Leaders Association, the News Product Alliance, and the Online News Association. She doesn't like lima beans, black licorice or the word synergy. You can reach her at bethany.erickson@peoplenewspapers.com.

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