Editorial: Say yes to NTCC’s future

Over the past 30 years, Northeast Texas Community College has provided its students with a quality education and the community with a quality workforce. During that entire time, there has never been an increase in taxes.
When the college began, there were only around 1,500 students in attendance. Three decades later, that number has more than doubled. With more students there is an inherent need for more money.
Voters will find two propositions on the ballot approved by Northeast board members. The first proposition keeps taxes and funding to NTCC as it stands.
The first proposition allows voters to decided whether or not to change the tax rate. The second proposition, allows voters to pass a bond that will give the college an important raise of $19.9 million in funding.
Early voting began Oct. 20 and as voters continue heading to the polls, they will find a bond on the ballot that voters in Morris, Titus, and Camp counties need to pass.
We at The Eagle, strongly recommend that voters help pass this bond. When the college opened its doors in 1984, the state covered 57 percent of its operating costs. Now the state only pays 27 percent of college costs, resulting in higher tuition and a poorly maintained campus. Passing the bond will not only help Northeast and its students, but also the entire community around the college.
With these benefits, the students of today will be tomorrow’s nurses who take care of us while in poor health, police officers who protect us when there is a bump in the night, mechanics who keep our cars running safely on the road, teachers who mold young minds and hairdressers that keep us looking our best.
Passing the bond would fund much-needed improvements to campus roofs, doors, windows and parking lots. It would also provide students with meeting areas in the dorms and around campus for student organizations.
Isn’t it important that the best EMT’s possible respond to our emergencies, that we produce the best possible future business owners and that we send the best transfer students to major universities?
Passing the bond will provide the necessary funding to improve and expand these programs.
Better-educated students going into the workforce means an improved community overall.
Passing the bond will also give the Northeast campus the improvements necessary for it to continue. The roads around the college are in desperate need of repair.
By walking on campus, it is immediately apparent to the human nose that the sewage system needs replaced. The campus also needs several improvements that meet the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Some might be against the bond immediately because of the rise in taxes. The increase, however, is nominal.
The tax is being raised 3.6 cents per $100, for a total of 13.6 cents per $100. To put that into perspective, someone with a $50,000 home would see a tax increase of only $1.50 a month. On the other end of the spectrum, someone with a $200,000 home would see a tax increase of $6.00 a month or only $72.00 a year. We contend that the future of our community is worth that much and more.
So we at The Eagle ask that you vote yes on the bond. The money will improve not only Northeast but also the surrounding community.

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