Volume 2 Issue 1

Mill Levy Overrides - A Recent History

What Are the Reserves For?

by Patrick Sullivan

Not every dollar saved is done so wisely. And, not every roller coaster ride is fun. Indeed, Jeffco’s recent history of financial decisions has given taxpayers plenty of cause for heartburn and vertigo.

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Colorado School Grades 2013: Rankings of Every School

by ColoradoSchoolGrades.com

   Colorado School Grades, an online tool created by a diverse coalition of 18 community organizations, released its 2013 rankings of every public school in the state. The rankings, which are available online at http://www.ColoradoSchoolGrades.com, are intended to help parents, students, educators, and community members better understand how their local Colorado schools are performing. This information is meant to empower parents.

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Jeffco Superstars

CONGRATULATIONS to a Bear Creek High School teacher, Jose A. Martinez III, for winning the national Milken Educator Award. This very prestigious award is given to fewer than 40 teachers a year, and Mr. Martinez is the only Colorado winner this year. Martinez was awarded $25,000 for his outstanding work as an educator.

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How Jeffco Can Improve Its Compensation Model

by Dr. Paula Noonan

Former Jeffco Board Member 2009-2013

Many people have kicked around the question of how to compensate public school educators, especially teachers. Jeffco’s current system of “steps and levels”, based on years of experience and academic credits and degrees, has been around for over 60 years. For the past 15 years the district has had committees looking at different compensation models.

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Brief History of Teacher Compensation Models

In 1921, Denver Public Schools became one of the first school districts in the United States to adopt the single-salary schedule. More than 80 years later, DPS moved near the forefront of K-12 agencies looking to update how teachers are paid.

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Transparency in Jeffco

by Steve Dorman, Jeffco Resident

The question has been floating through Jeffco for the last month: Why all the attorney changes? The new school board hired an attorney that reports to the board.

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Citizens Help Jeffco WIth Financial Oversight

 by Mary Everson

In 1950, 39 separate school districts were consolidated to form Jefferson County R-1. Jeffco Public Schools, as it’s better known, educates approximately 85,000 students, employs over 12,000 full and part- time staff, and covers 779 square miles in Jefferson County and Broomfield. Much has changed since 1950, but the primary mission remains to provide high-quality educational services that prepare Jeffco students to be college and career ready.

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Deferred Maintenance Hurts Students

by Kara Johnston

For most people, discussions around capital spending are often followed by yawns and eye rolls. Face it. Budgets and facilities are boring, and I surmise that this is precisely why it’s easy for organizations like school districts to gloss over capital needs and deferred maintenance.

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Special Ed Legal Fees Questioned

Why Are They So High?

by A JeffCo Parent
There has been a lot of press lately about Jeffco School’s use of attorneys, including who they are, what part of the district they represent, the cost, and how that money could be better spent. But not enough attention has been given to these questions as they relate to special education in Jeffco Schools, with an eye toward better budgetary systems.

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A Teacher Shares Concerns

by A Jeff Co Educator

The Jeffco Observer asked me to share a teacher’s perspective on the “State of the District” given the new school board. While I cannot claim to represent every teacher’s perspective, I do believe some universal thoughts exist among the ranks.

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Another Look At Jeffco Academic Performance

by Tom Coyne
We are all invested in the success of the Jeffco public education system. Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders. So how has the system served the students who have entered the system in the last decade? To be sure, test scores do not give us the whole picture, but they are one objective measure of the performance of the system and a key indicator of how well our children are being served.

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