The Austin Community College District (ACC) Board of Trustees certified a petition on June 4, 2018 from Pflugerville ISD residents interested in putting an ACC annexation item on the ballot this November.
The ACC Board of Trustees will decide at a public meeting on August 13 whether to place the annexation question on the November 2018 General Election ballot for residents of the Pflugerville ISD.
In May, a group of residents from the Pflugerville ISD presented a petition of signatures seeking board approval for annexation by election. "Annexation by election" is when residents of a political subdivision in the service area - often a school district but occasionally a city or a county - petition to join the college district. If the college trustees determine that the petition is valid and signed by the proper number of registered voters, an election can be held in the community. If the measure wins voter approval, the community is officially part of the college district's taxing authority and the community begins paying ad valorem taxes to the college district in exchange for increased services and reduced tuition.
Students who live within the boundaries of Pflugerville ISD would immediately become eligible for the lower, in-district tuition/fee rate ($85 per credit hour versus $361 per credit hour for out-of-district).
Currently, students who are not within the college district pay $1,083 in tuition and fees for a 3-credit hour course in the 2018-2019 academic year, while in-district students pay $255 in tuition and fees for the same course.
The proposed service plan for Pflugerville includes: a workforce innovation campus/center to meet workforce needs in healthcare, IT, and/or advanced manufacturing and transfer education courses in PfISD; student support services including advising, admissions and records, academic counseling, career counseling, financial aid, and student life; customized training to assist businesses and organizations in their employee training; access to degrees and/or certificates in transfer, career pathways, and Continuing Education non-credit; ‘Access’ programs such as English-as-a-Second Language (ESL), GED, and Adult Basic Education to prepare people for entering college credit programs; credit or non-credit entry-level, and re-entry job-training programs that can be completed in one year or less; and eligibility to vote in elections of the ACC Board of Trustees.
Though the exact location of the Campus/Center has not been determined, should the residents of Pflugerville ISD elect to annex themselves into the ACC district, such a facility will be located within the boundaries of the newly annexed Pflugerville ISD territory.
Should Pflugerville ISD voters annex themselves into the ACC District, the college’s leadership will begin a strategic planning process with local partners in Pflugerville to determine what type of facility would best meet the workforce and higher-education needs of the area. This process will set in motion the plans and concrete timeline for a facility in Pflugerville ISD.
The specific types of services that will be offered will be determined as a result of collaboration with local partners on what the workforce and higher education needs of the area are projected to be. However, at a basic level there will be general education offerings, collaborations with the Pflugerville ISD on dual credit/early college high school programs, and workforce components that will be determined by the strategic planning process.
Based on the average PfISD home value of about $200,000, the average ACC tax bill for a homeowner would be about $17 per month. The college offers the following exemptions:
ACC’s current maintenance and operation tax rate is $0.0900 per $100 assessed property valuation and its current tax rate for paying debt service on bonds for facilities is $0.0108 per $100 assessed property valuation. ACC’s combined tax rate currently is $0.1008 per $100 assessed property valuation.
People who are registered to vote for the November general election and who live within the boundaries of the Pflugerville ISD that are not currently part of the ACC taxing district will be able to vote in this election.
No. The approval and publication of the service plan is a key step in the process for calling an annexation election. The Board must publish the service plan, then conduct a public hearing on that service plan, and then the Board must wait a specific number of days after the public hearing before it may call the election.
There is nothing in the Education Code that gives the Board authority to change the service plan and maintain the same schedule; if the service plan is changed, the Board will have to publish the new service plan, conduct another public hearing and let the public comment on that new service plan, and then wait the required period of time before it may call an election based on that new service plan.
So any changes to the already published service plan before the election is called would result in restarting the annexation process. There is not enough time left to complete the process a second time based on the new service plan and still call the election for November 2018.