Support ballot measures I’m writing to express my gratitude to the Douglas County School District Board of Education for unanimously voting to add two local school-funding measures to the ballot …
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Support ballot measures
I’m writing to express my gratitude to the Douglas County School District Board of Education for unanimously voting to add two local school-funding measures to the ballot this November.
The impact to individual homeowners is not great (an average of $17 more per month in property taxes), but the dividends our schools, students and teachers will receive are massive. Due to the lack of funds, our district has long neglected necessary maintenance of our existing schools. It’s irresponsible and fiscally unsound to let these buildings deteriorate and crumble around our 68,000 students. Passing these measures means the money collected will flow directly into our district’s coffers, not through the state budget. This is important as the state legislature has been underfunding our district for years by taking money earmarked for K-12 education and diverting it to other programs (now called the budget stabilization factor; it was previously called the negative factor). Since we have not passed a bond or mill levy override since my now high school senior was in kindergarten, our district is woefully underfunded compared to neighboring districts.
Every student in Cherry Creek brings in an additional $1,635 annually thanks to their MLOs, and teachers in CCSD earn an average of $19,000/year more than ours do. Littleton pays its teachers an average of $13,000/year more.
Please join me in educating Douglas County voters about the importance of these ballot measures.
Schools do need the money
Smith Young’s letter in the Aug. 16 paper advising us to defeat any Douglas County School District bond proposal is flawed in several respects. He states that the district’s $53,080 average teacher salary is “in the middle of the pack statewide,” implying that’s OK. However, that state average includes districts in counties like Baca, Yuma and Moffatt, where salary bases are much lower. Comparisons must be made with our nearest “competitors,” those with similar salary demographics. A $17,000 disparity between DC and Creek is not acceptable. Additionally, to label teaching part-time work is disingenuous.
He fails to mention the need for capital to fund the physical plant... repairs and improvements to plumbing, electric, IT, buses, etc., plus competitive salaries to retain employees in those disciplines. Is this “lavish” spending? Does he defer maintenance items in his own home?
Mr. Young appears fixated on the tax increase necessary to fund improvements, an onerous amount of $17 a month, which would force one to forego maybe four lattes monthly. We feel his pain. However, for DC to retain excellent employees and maintain excellent facilities, money must be there. Prices go up, and our children deserve the best we can give them. A vote “yes” in November, with the attendant small cost, will go a long way toward providing that. Additionally, excellent schools are a drawing card to this community, ensuring property values are maintained and that the county keeps its reputation as an excellent place to live.
Keep momentum going
A letter printed in your Aug. 16 edition shows why it is so important to get out and vote for the school-funding measures this November. Because if you believe those who supported the previous schoolboard are gone, think again.
Yes, there are still some who think DougCo teachers are overpaid, part-time workers. That a district that last passed a local bond or mill levy 12 years ago doesn’t need another. And that those who own a half-million-dollar house can’t come up with 50 cents more per day to invest in the future of our community.
Look, I’ll stack my curmudgeon credentials against anyone: I’m 55-plus, a lifelong Republican and soon-to-be empty nester. But I’m also someone who is deeply appreciative of the top-quality education and experience that my kids received from DougCo public schools. How selfish and hypocritical it would be to deny the same opportunity to the next generation of students.
I’m proud of Douglas County voters who stood up and righted the mistakes of the past. Now it’s time for that same group to ensure that we keep the positive momentum and provide our schools with the resources they desperately need.
J. David Eck
Time for change in Congress
I’m a retired Douglas County professional sharing why I think it is time for a change after generally voting Republican since 1976.
No, it’s not Trump (entirely). I’m driven by a deep frustration with the elected Republicans in Congress, who perennially fail to deliver on their election year promises. Oh, they passed “tax cuts for the rich” and that may help the economy. But, even with the presidency and majorities in both houses, they have utterly failed to deliver at all on crucial issues such as: preventing Social Security from going broke, comprehensive immigration reform, fixing VA and providing our veterans with the health care they deserve, funding the nation’s highway infrastructure replacement and upgrade needs, and more. I am just one person who believes it is time to let the Democrats have a chance to end the gridlock.
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