These statistics developed by Austin Community College from U.S. Census Bureau data show that San Marcos lags well behind Austin and Hays County in educational attainment for adults 25 and older. Austin Community College graphic.
The San Marcos ACCess coalition will officially kick off a petition drive Thursday to place San Marcos CISD annexation into the Austin Community College district on the November ballot.
The kick-off will take place Thursday, 5 p.m., at the San Marcos Public Library (625 East Hopkins Street).
“This effort will bring lower tuition rates and a full-service, comprehensive campus to San Marcos,” said Albert Sierra, San Marcos ACCess co-chair. “The return on investment is high.”
San Marcos ACCess would have to collect about 2,000 signatures before April 9 to place ACC on the November ballot.
If San Marcos CISD voters approve the measure, then ACC would tax property owners 9.46 cents per $100 of taxable property value. With tax exemptions, seniors and the disabled would pay nothing to ACC on the first $110,000 of their taxable property value.
In exchange, ACC’s tuition rate for San Marcos CISD would fall from $139 per credit hour to $37 per credit hour. ACC also plans to build a campus on 72 acres near San Marcos High School if San Marcos CISD joins the ACC district.
“This effort is about giving San Marcos residents, especially our young people, greater access to education,” said Kim Porterfield, who co-chairs the coalition with Sierra and San Marcos High School Senior Miguel Arredondo. “Community colleges provide high-quality, affordable education that helps citizens find better jobs, earn higher wages and contribute to the local tax base.”
San Marcos ACCess members will present a brief presentation Thursday, followed by statements from community, business and youth leaders. A ceremonial signing of the petition will culminate the event, to which the public is invited.
Sierra, one of the founding members of LULAC #654 and former chair of the San Marcos ENLACE coalition, said joining the ACC District makes sense for San Marcos.
“ACC is the point of entry into higher education for more than 70 percent of minorities in the Central Texas area,” Sierra said. “ACC is also a leader in workforce training. These services will be more convenient and less expensive for our residents if we join the district … We must have more of our graduates attending college if we want San Marcos to remain competitive.”
An artistic rendering of an ACC campus building. Austin Community College graphic.