Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls on May 9 to elect mayor, city council members, and school district trustees. If you want your name to appear on a ballot, you should know that the filing period for candidates begins today. (Photo by iStock)

Voters across the Dallas area will go to the polls beginning today to elect school district trustees in four districts. (Photo by iStock)

Just a friendly reminder that early voting in the Dallas Independent School District school board election for districts 2, 4, 5 and 7 begins today.

During early voting, you can vote anywhere in Dallas County. Early voting will continue until May 3. Election Day for these races is May 7. (more…)

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UPDATE, 11:45 p.m.: Some final numbers, and a brief round up of some other races. All told, out of 1,199,726 registered voters in Dallas County, 108,607 ballots were cast, meaning turnout in Dallas County was 9.05 percent.

Some other returns you might be interested in, including the state proposition votes:
Prop 1 – 87.53 percent for, 12.46 percent against (figures are statewide totals)
Prop 2 – 91.46 percent for, 8.53 percent against
Prop 3 – 66.84 percent for, 33.15 percent against
Prop 4 – 68.81 percent for, 31.18 percent against
Prop 5 – 82.84 percent for, 17.15 percent against
Prop 6 – 81.63 percent for, 18.36 percent against
Prop 7 – 83.90 percent for, 16.09 percent against

Having trouble remember what each proposition was about? Here you go.

Around the county, Grand Prairie ISD’s tax increase vote also passed, 68 percent to 32 percent. The district’s election to approve a $91 billion bond proposal to renovate existing schools and build new schools passed 76 percent to 24 percent, and it’s bond refund proposal vote passed 75 percent to 25 percent. Rockwall ISD’s bond package also passed, 65 percent to 35 percent.

The City of Richardson had four proposals and all passed, as did all seven of McKinney’s. Mesquite’s street bond also passed, 84 percent to 16 percent. And I’m not sure what exactly was going on with the Wilmer Municipal Utility District, but 1 precinct of 1 precinct reported one whole vote for all five propositions, and that one person voted yes.

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Alyssa Ortega, who teaches at DeGoyler Elementary, is just one of several Dallas teachers who utilizes DonorsChoose to raise funds for items the ordinary budget doesn't cover.

Alyssa Ortega, who teaches at DeGoyler Elementary, is just one of several Dallas teachers who utilizes DonorsChoose to raise funds for items the ordinary budget doesn’t cover.

At first, the news sounded kind of perplexing and ominous. Late last night, I was apprised of a memo that went out to Dallas Independent School District principals. The memo, folks said, banned the use of certain crowdfunding sites to raise funds for anything involving the district.

Crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter, GoFundMe, and Donors Choose have become havens for teachers and schools who need to raise money for school trips, class projects, new books, etc. Needless to say, as word filtered out teachers were concerned.

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Photo: Bethany Erickson

Photo: Bethany Erickson

When my husband bought the home we live in now – a 1950s bungalow in Midway Hollow – he was a bachelor. He told me several times during our courtship that he bought the house thinking that he would sell it when he got married, because three bedrooms and ONE bathroom is kind of cozy.

Well, I like cozy. When we married, we decided that staying put made sense, but if we ever had kids, we would give the situation another gander.

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Woodrow Wilson High School

Thanks to a Facebook page started by former State Rep. Allen Vaught, meetings with Dallas ISD trustee Mike Morath, and a growing groundswell of support, talk is picking up about Woodrow Wilson High School and it’s feeder campuses splintering from Dallas ISD to form their own school district.

It’s an interesting idea, one that would either create a sort of charter school district inside DISD, or secede from the district forever, depending on whom you’re asking. The complaints are as diverse as the proposed solution, but many families inside Lakewood are just fed up with the slow-moving bureaucracy at 3700 Ross Ave, one that Vaught wants to ditch completely.

Should this actually come to fruition, what would happen to the home values inside the Woodrow attendance boundaries and Lakewood as a whole? And what about homes surrounding the area?

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“My personal opinion is that when Lakewood becomes it’s own entity, the children are the ones who will benefit,” said Scott Carlson, a Realtor who specializes in Lakewood real estate and East Dallas. “Absolutely property values in Lakewood will be protected and become stronger.”

Nancy Johnson, also an expert in Lakewood-area real estate and is the listing agent for 10 Nonesuch Road, agrees.

“I think it would have a positive affect,” Johnson said. “Of course many details would need answering but DISD has such a bad rap that I think localizing and separating from all the negativity would hopefully have some of the great affects the Park Cities have enjoyed.”

Lakewood Elementary

Of course, Park Cities home values have always held strong, thanks to the solid schools, and recently values have taken a turn upward. But there have been some side-effects. Increased density and over-crowded schools are growing problems for Highland Park ISD. As more people seek to live inside a higher-performing school district, builders tear down single-family homes to build duplexes and four-plexes, increasing the burden on campuses to make room for more children. It’s a double-edged sword, for sure.

And let’s not forget that with higher property values often comes higher taxes.

“As you are aware, Texas does not have a state income tax. Never the less, we make up for that in our property taxes — mostly the school part of the tax,” Carlson said. “It’s a ton of money and therefore brings a lot of problems.”

But would White Rock ISD, or Lakewood ISD, or whatever we’re calling this proposed school district, become financially independent? Or would Lakewood property tax dollars still end up in DISD coffers? It’s something that has to be thought out carefully. If the school district becomes financially independent, and results in skyrocketing property values and property taxes, then the district will likely become targeted for redistribution according to the state’s “Robin Hood” laws.

Still, Carlson feels that the district already has a great amount of autonomy and support from the community.

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(Photo: Jenifer McNeil Baker)

“My thoughts are that Lakewood already operates on it’s own. What the parents and community has done for the Lakewood school district is extraordinary. A lot of families are moving to Lakewood primarily for the Lakewood school district,” Carlson said. As for support, there’s already a groundswell of that, thanks to the Lakewood Early Childhood PTA and their fundraising efforts.

“The upcoming Lakewood Home Festival, which is the weekend of the Nov. 8, shows how strong and financially viable Lakewood is,” Carlson said. “This being the oldest home tour in Dallas has set the standard for many other home tours. The focus and vision of the parents combined with their love for their children and community, grounded in the beauty of White Rock Lake and nature, is what has made Lakewood one of the BEST neighborhoods in America.”

And that is definitely catching on.

Lange Front

As public campuses inside Dallas ISD increase their upward momentum, so are the values of homes in the vicinity of top-performing schools. There’s no better example of that than Lakewood, where homes inside the Lakewood Elementary attendance area are highly sought after.

If you need a home for a family with great schools that is impeccably maintained, well, this one is a great option. With three bedrooms, two baths, and a gated backyard, you’ll love this fabulous home at 6575 Lange Circle. You can rent this house for just $2,500 a month — a great price considering the landscaping, updates, gorgeous hardwood floors, and stainless appliances.

Lange Nursery

This home is on a corner lot and backs up to a greenbelt — great for kids who need to run off some steam. It’s in Briar Creek Estates, which is just east of Briar Creek and close to great shopping at Mockingbird Commons. Talk about accessible, this home is in a fantastic location just west of Abrams and Mockingbird.

Lange Backyard

Sound like the perfect home for your family? Lease it today with the exceptional folks at LocalDwelling.com