Local voters give community college OK

By Mike Genet mike.genet@examiner.net
The Examiner

Voters in both the Grain Valley and Oak Grove school districts said yes Tuesday to being attached to the Metropolitan Community College district, giving students from those districts access to nearly 50 percent lower tuition rates for MCC classes.

In all, eight school districts around the metro area voted Tuesday on attachment, but besides Grain Valley and Oak Grove, only Liberty voters said yes. Grain Valley voters gave 57.2 percent approval (793 yes votes to 594), while Oak Grove voters gave 59.3 percent approval (569-390).

Property owners will be assessed a 21-cent tax levy per $100 assessed value. For Grain Valley and Oak Grove voters in Jackson County, that equates to about $40 per year for the owner of a $100,000 home.

Independence, Blue Springs, Fort Osage and Lee’s Summit are already part of the MCC district, along with eight other school districts.

Students in those districts, including dual credit and early college students still in high school, pay about $107 tuition per credit hour at the MCC campuses, thanks to their property tax support. Students from unattached districts can also attend MCC, but for them it’s $198 per credit hour.

"We're thrilled to welcome residents of the Grain Valley, Liberty and Oak Grove school districts, and we’re so appreciative of the support and trust voters in these districts have shown us," MCC Chancellor Kimberly Beatty said in a release.

Voters in the Raymore-Peculiar, Harrisonville, Platte County, Smithville and Kearney districts also considered the attachment question.