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Metropolitan Community College seeks expanded footprint of attached school districts

Voters in 8 school districts to decide April 6
STOCK MCC Metropolitan Community College 3
Posted at 4:14 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 17:20:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s been nearly three decades since the Junior College District of Metropolitan Kansas City, Missouri, expanded its footprint.

Now, voters in eight suburban school districts will decide April 6 whether to become attached to the Junior College District, which operates the Metropolitan Community College system.

If passed, prospective junior college students would have “greater affordable access to quality higher education by providing in-district tuition rates.”

Passage also would subject property owners in the those districts — Grain Valley R-V, Harrisonville R-IX, Kearney R-1, Liberty Public Schools, Oak Grove R-VI, Platte County R-III, Raymore-Peculiar R-II and Smithville R-II — to the Metropolitan Community College’s tax levy, which is currently 21.28¢ per $100 of assessed value.

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Each school district’s vote is separate from the other districts.

If a majority of voters in any district pass the measure, that district will become attached to the Junior College District.

Taxpayers in jurisdictions that elect to become attached would see a property tax increase of a little more than $40 per year for a $100,000 home.

Students in those districts would then qualify for the in-district tuition price, which is $107 per credit hour for the spring semester.

Currently, out-of-district students pay $198 per credit hour, so attachment yields a 46% tuition reduction.

An Associate in Arts degree from Metropolitan Community College — which includes MCC-Blue River in Independence, MCC-Longview in Lee’s Summit and MCC-Business & Technology, MCC-Maple Woods and MCC-Penn Valley in Kansas City, Missouri — requires 62 credit hours.

Being in-district would save a student completing an associate’s degree $5,642 based on current tuition rates.

Metropolitan Community College was operated by Kansas City Public Schools from its founding in 1915 until 1964.

Seven school districts — Belton, Center, Grandview, Hickman Mills, Lee’s Summit, North Kansas City and Raytown — became attached in 1964 to create the Junior College District.

The Blue Springs and Park Hill school districts were added in 1984 and 1986, respectively, but the last expansion came with the addition of the Independence and Fort Osage school districts in 1993.