January 22, 2007
Announcement of the El Dorado Promise, a $50 million scholarship program paid for by El Dorado-based Murphy Oil Corporation. Under the program, students can use the scholarship money at an accredited Arkansas higher education institution or at any accredited out-of-state college. The annual scholarships are capped at the highest resident tuition rate at an Arkansas public university.
El Dorado Promise news is picked up in over 200 media publications in the U.S. and seven other countries (including CNN, USA Today, Time magazine, Washington Post and others).
El Dorado citizens pass a 1-cent sales tax, estimated to generate $32 million over the next 8 years, to implement El Dorado Forward, the city’s strategic economic development plan.
76% of the 2007 graduating class enroll in college. Prior to the El Dorado Promise, an average of 60% of El Dorado graduates went on to college.
Voters approve a school millage increase to fund the construction of a new high school. The measure passed with 78% voter approval.
The El Dorado School District reports a 3% increase in enrollment for the 2007-2008 academic year, with a 12% increase for those attending kindergarten.
Union County home sales were up 4.3% in 2007, in spite of the state’s 8.8% decrease for the same period. The El Dorado Chamber of Commerce has worked with almost 200 families interested in moving to El Dorado since The Promise was announced.
82% of the 2nd Promise Class (2008 high school graduates) enroll in college, surpassing the state (64.7%) and the national (66%) college going rates.
67% of 2007 El Dorado graduates who began college returned for their second year, compared to the Arkansas one-year return rate of 48% for community colleges and 68% for universities.
The El Dorado School District reports a 1% increase in enrollment for the 2008-2009 academic year, which reflects a total increase of 4% enrollment since the announcement of the Promise.