Volume 3 Issue 2

Ask the Moms

Are the promises made during the 2012 bond and mill election being broken?
     The bond and mill elections are the 3A and 3B ballot initiatives that asked voters for money to fund specific items. 3A dollars support on-going operating expenses. 3B dollars pay off the bonds which fund capital projects. In 2012 3A asked for $39 million annually, while 3B asked for $99 million which would have a maximum repayment of $195 million. 
     The 3A initiative asked for money to maintain reasonable class size, keep instrumental music, and reinstate instructional days among other projects. The $39 million is allocated to the projects asked for so these promises are being kept. For complete comfort that the promises are being kept you can read the text of the ballot initiatives. http://ballotpedia.org/Category:Colorado_2012_local_ballot_measures
     3B was to support a list of capital projects which included replacing fire alarms and upgrading electrical systems. The district was able to raise $117 million and still stay in the repayment guidelines; many of the projects have cost significantly more than projected. To complete all of the projects on the original list current estimates are it will take all of the $117. All projects requested are being funded so promises are being kept.

Are charter schools the only schools getting more money and what is happening with the funds?
     Jeffco is getting more money from the state and those funds are being allocated to all Jeffco schools. The funding is now being done based on students and local communities have more control over how the funds are spent. As the district began calculating, it became clear that charter students have been getting about $1000 less per year per student than their counterparts in district run schools. The new state funds were allocated to make things fairer. 
     Queries to schools show they are using their funding in a variety of ways—some are paying for teachers, some are supporting playground upgrades, some are buying text books and technology, and some are adding teachers.