PJC Brings Expansion of District Plan to Delta County
A public hearing meeting was held last Thursday evening hosted by Paris Junior College on the proposed expansion of the district service plan for Delta, Hopkins, Hunt, Lamar and Red River counties as well as Fannindel and Honey Grove Independent School Districts.
This expansion would result in a property tax rate, services and programs for residents of these areas.
According to the proposal PJC would set a maximum maintenance and operation property tax that the board may adopt is $0.27 per $100 assessed property valuation. The maximum debt service tax rate that the board may offer for voter approved bond referendum elections is $0.50 with exceptions being seniors over 65 years and surviving spouse equaling $10,000 and taxes frozen for seniors (over 65).
If voters approve this annexation it will save PJC students $135 per three semester credit hour for those residing inside the new district. Other advantages include assured quality education, economic growth through programs in needed fields like health care, emergency services, manufacturing, HVAC and welding and much more.
“Of the 2015 high school graduates in the five county PJC service area who went to colleges/universities in the State of Texas, 64 percent from Cooper ISD and 62 percent from Fannindel ISD chose Paris Junior College as their higher education institution,” said Pamela Anglin of PJC President at the hearing in Cooper.
PJC is one of the smallest community college taxing district in the State of Texas – servicing approximately 3,848 square and current taxing district is approximately 44 square miles. In other words only 1.14 percent of PJC’s service area pays taxes to support the college.
How is PJC funded?
PJC is funded by state reimbursement for student hours, currently funded at 29 percent of the cost of instruction, tuition and fees paid by students and property taxes (ad valorem taxes paid by property owners within the City of Paris and the old Cunningham ISD).
BY the numbers
- Number of students enrolled in the 2014-15 academic year
- Student to faculty ratio
- Associate degrees and certificates awarded 2014-15
- Semester credit hours awarded to high school students via PJC’s dual credit programs in 2015-16 school year
- Total full- and part-time employees
- The difference in earning over a working lifetime of associate degree graduates in Texas vs. high school graduates in Texas.
In comparison PJC operates on a $1.5 million fiscal year while Northeast Texas Community College has $4.1 million and Tyler Junior College with $10.1 million.
All registered voters living in the following school districts who do not live in the current PJC taxing district may vote in the November 2016 election: Bland, Boles, Caddo Mills, Campbell, Celeste, Chisum, Clarksville, Commerce, Cooper, Cumby, Detroit, Fannindel, Greenville, Honey Grove, Lone Oak, Miller Grove, North Hopkins, North Lamar, Prairiland, Quinlan-Ford, Rivercrest, Roxton, Sulphur Bluff, Sulphur Springs and Wolfe City. This vote will be county by county.
If it is unsuccessful vote it could potentially mean an increase in tuition and fees to students or a reduction of services or even closure.
If approved by voters, other actions will need to occur. The election results must be certified or canvassed within 11 days. The Board of Regents must pass a resolution amending the boundaries. The Board of Regents changes tuition rates for the new in-district residents for the 2017-18 academic year. They will begin the implementation of the redistricting plan related to the Board representation.
For more information about the Service Plan may be directed to the PJC President’s Office at 903.782.0330 or visit www.parisjc.edu/annexation.
Note: Statistics for this article came from PJC information released at public hearing.