DCSD Funding Challenges

Invest Today for Their Tomorrow

Douglas County School District is home to 63,000 students who attend 89 public schools. Covering 850 total square miles, our school district is the third-largest in Colorado. We have a lot to celebrate in DCSD!

However, DCSD faces many funding challenges that can only be solved with voter-approved measures. We must address funding needs to ensure that our students continue to have access to the best possible public education within safe and comfortable learning environments. 

We need your help to stay competitive with other districts and ensure DCSD remains a strong school district for years to come.

Additional Funding Would Help DCSD to Provide:

 Teachers icon  Wrench icon Security icon   School icon
 Competitive Pay

 Building Upgrade
and Maintenance

 School Security New Schools

Competitive Pay for Teachers and Staff 
Each school district can request additional local funding through a local Mill Levy Override (MLO). This funding is generally used for operations, including salaries, staffing, and student programming. Providing competitive pay is essential to teacher and staff retention. 

 graph showing difference in MLO rate and teacher pay in multiple school districts
Currently, teachers in neighboring school districts make about $19,000 more per year compared to DCSD. 


A Greater Investment in our Communities
Schools are an integral part of our neighborhoods, our economies, and our lives. An investment in our students and schools is an investment in our community. 

Investing in our school district will improve children’s safety and security.
Paying teachers a competitive salary helps them build a bright future for our kids and residents.

Did you know? Douglas County's population has grown 30% since 2010 - the last year that a new neighborhood school was built.

Safe, Efficient, Quality Learning Environments
We need to update and repair our school buildings to provide safe, efficient, quality learning environments for our students and staff. Passing a bond measure to pay for these necessary updates will help kids learn in a safe and secure environment, as well as provide more career and technical training opportunities.

New Neighborhood Schools
Increased funding will allow us to construct new neighborhood elementary schools and create additions to existing middle schools to reduce crowding and plan for growth.

How Our Schools are Funded 

The state sets total funding for each school district each year. Think of our funding as a bucket filled with state and local funding. 

School funding is made up of two parts: local taxes and state contributions. When local tax contributions increase, the state's contribution decreases.

As you can see, an increase in local funding due to economic growth and rising property taxes does NOT provide our schools with more money (does NOT increase the size of the bucket) - it just means the state contributes less.The bucket only gets larger if voters approve additional local funding via Mill Levy Overrides and Bonds. 

Mill Levy Overrides
Each school district can request additional local funding (up to 25% more) through a local Mill Levy Override (MLO). This funding is generally used for operations, including salaries, staffing, and student programming.

DCSD currently receives 12% additional funding thanks to previous MLOs. However, neighboring school districts are closer to or at the full 25% making it difficult for us to compete for staff. We are losing our teachers to districts that are able to pay more competitive wages.

Compared to other neighboring school districts, Douglas County receives less per pupil funding


Local voter-approved bonds are used by school districts for:

  • School safety and security upgrades
  • Career and technical education
  • Student programming investments
  • New construction for high growth areas
  • Facility maintenance and upgrades

The bond passed by Douglas County voters in 2018 allowed DCSD to cover maintenance that had been delayed for many years. We need additional funding to continue maintenance and repairs and to construct new schools in fast-growing areas of the county.

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In compliance with Titles VI & VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, and Colorado law, the Douglas County School District RE-1 does not unlawfully discriminate against otherwise qualified students, employees, applicants for employment, or members of the public on the basis of disability, race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, religion, ancestry, or need for special education services. Discrimination against employees and applicants for employment based on age, genetic information, and conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth is also prohibited in accordance with state and/or federal law. Complaint procedures have been established for students, parents, employees, and members of the public. The School District's Compliance Officer and Title IX Coordinator to address complaints alleging sexual harassment under Title IX is Aaron Henderson, 620 Wilcox Street, Castle Rock, Colorado, [email protected], 720-433-1083.

Outside Agencies

Complaints regarding violations of Title VI, (race, national origin), Title IX (sex, gender), Section 504/ADA (handicap or disability), may be filed directly with the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, 1244 North Speer Blvd., Suite 310, Denver, CO 80204. Complaints regarding violations of Title VII (employment) and the ADEA (prohibiting age discrimination in employment) may be filed directly with the Federal Office of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 303 E. 17th Ave., Suite 510, Denver, CO 80202, or the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, 1560 Broadway, Suite 1050, Denver, CO 80202.


Special Education records which have been collected by Douglas County School District related to the identification, evaluation, educational placement, or the provision of special education in the district, must be maintained under state and federal laws for the period of five (5) years after special education services have ended for the student. Special education services end when the student is no longer eligible for services, graduates, or completes his/her educational program at age 21, or moves from the district. This notification is to inform parents/guardians and former students of Douglas County School District's intent to destroy the special education records of students who exited special education services as of June 30, 2016. These records will be destroyed in accordance with state law unless the parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student notifies the school district otherwise. After five years, the records are no longer useful to the district, but may be useful to the parent/guardian or former student in applying for social security benefits, rehabilitation services, college entrance, etc. The parent/guardian or eligible (adult) student may request a copy of the records by requesting the records at this link ( Douglas County School District Transcripts and Records Requests ).