DCSD Board Confirms its Commitment to Begin the Process of Seeking Approval for Additional Local Funding
CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.
“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”
DCSD’s Board of Education requested that district staff and volunteers move forward with the research necessary to determine the amount of a potential funding ask and the specific projects to be funded.
Ultimately, specific funding priorities will be identified by district committees and subcommittees composed of citizens, educators and staff who have been exploring the district’s needs, pricing projects and analyzing the financial implications to Douglas County taxpayers.
Based on recent survey results, the highest funding priorities will likely include addressing teacher pay, as well as urgent capital needs as outlined in the DCSD Master Capital Plan. Urgent capital needs include repairs or replacements of boilers, chillers, electrical components, roofs and other items that could result in the closure of a school, should a malfunction occur.
“Our school district has not passed a bond or mill levy override initiative since 2006,” said Ray. “Meanwhile, our school buildings are aging and maintenance needs are becoming more dire. In addition, the pay gap continues to grow between DCSD and neighboring school districts that have passed bonds and MLOs. It is not okay that our teachers can cross the county line and be paid at a significantly higher rate. We owe it to our learners to attract and retain the best teachers. It is simply time to invest in our schools, our kids, our community and our future.”
There are misconceptions that the growing housing market in some areas of Douglas County means additional funding for schools. In actuality, the more property taxes that are collected equates to less dollars contributed by the state, effectively keeping total school district funding per student relatively flat from year-to-year. For more information on how our school district is funded, click here.
On the other hand, tax revenues from bond and MLO proceeds go directly to the school district without decreasing the amount that the state contributes.
Community members who wish to get involved in this effort are encouraged to attend the DCSD District Accountability Committee Winter Forum on Tuesday, February 13 from 5:30-9:00 p.m. at Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock.
The DCSD Board of Education’s Fiscal Oversight and Long Range Planning Committees will present their recommendations on bond and mill levy investments on Tuesday, February 20 during a work session that will be open to the public and available to view on DCSD Livestream.