Early voting begins today in the election for Richardson ISD school board, Dallas College board of trustees and two proposed amendments to the state constitution. Election Day is May 7.

In the race to represent Lake Highlands in RISD’s District 5, Rachel McGowan, Kile Brown and Jan Stell are seeking to replace Karen Clardy. Clardy resigned in September, later citing the board’s contentious climate and her refusal to be “part of the board responsible for pushing (Dr. Jeannie Stone) out as superintendent.”

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McGowan, 43, is a graduate of Lake Highlands High School and a parent of current LH students. She works as a business account executive and has been active supporting the PTA and community issues. She backs Dr. Stone’s equity efforts and wants to raise the academic bar in RISD.

Kile Brown, 52, is a West Point graduate and businessman. He’s a deacon at Wilshire Baptist Church, and his three children are RISD graduates. He supports Dr. Stone’s equity and diversity initiatives and says he’ll maintain a constructive environment for teachers while keeping academic standards high.

Jan Stell, 70, is a real estate agent and former teacher. Her son, an LHHS graduate, has two children. She says that RISD test scores are falling because too much time is spent on nonacademic initiatives such as social emotional learning. She stresses getting back to basics in the classroom.

You may read more about the candidates here.

Lynn Davenport, Dr. Catalina Garcia and Gretchen Minyard Williams are running in District 1 to replace the late Sonny Williams on the board of Dallas College (formerly Dallas County Community College District). Ms. Williams was appointed to serve after the death of her husband. You may read more about the candidates here.

Proposition 1 on the ballot would reduce the school property tax burden faced by elderly and disabled homeowners. Almost 2 million Texans currently qualify for exemptions because they are 65 or over or disabled, and those taxpayers can expect to save about $110 on their school property tax bill in the first year.

Proposition 2 would increase the homestead exemption homeowners may claim for school property taxes from $25,000 to $40,000. That would save the average homeowner about $175.

Early voting locations include Audelia Road Branch Library, Richland College and Our Redeemer Lutheran Church on Park Lane. A full list is here.