3A – Funding to Address Student Achievement, Whole Child

Less than one year ago, the Jeffco community came together to make a critical change to our school board. By a 2-1 margin, Jeffco voters made it clear that they wanted school board members who have Jeffco students’ best interests at heart.

We at JeffCo School Board Watch support the five new school board members’ decision to put a mill levy override and bond on this November’s ballot. We are pleased to see that funds from the mill, 3A, will be distributed equitably to benefit all of Jeffco’s 155 schools – including every neighborhood school, option school, and charter school.

Charter schools, which educate 10 percent of Jeffco’s students, will receive 10 percent of the mill. And that same equitable distribution will be true for all neighborhood and option schools in Jeffco.

Under the current school budget system, known as Student Based Budgeting (SBB), Jeffco’s schools have a small amount of discretionary money that allows them to choose the services, programming, and support that will most benefit their unique student population. The mill levy override will provide much-needed funds so that schools can fully afford choices that support student achievement while also nurturing the whole child.

Exciting options include more hands-on learning opportunities, enhanced and expanded art, music, career and technical education, as well as additional investment in and expansion of STEM – science, technology, math and engineering – programming.

Schools that only have a half-time librarian might use some of the discretionary money from 3A to pay for a full-time librarian, while other schools may choose to invest the dollars into a full-time counselor, math or reading interventionist, or additional hands-on opportunities for their students.

Jeffco’s 2020 Vision talks about what a successful graduate in the year 2020 will be able to do, and places a priority on providing all Jeffco students – from the youngest to those heading off to college or a career – the necessary educational experiences to achieve this vision.

Students need 21st century skills so they’re prepared for the jobs of the future. They need greater access to STEM, technology and hands-on experiences.

They need to hone their abilities when it comes to teamwork, critical thinking, strong math and science knowledge, and a strong reading and writing base. The Jeffco 2020 Vision also requires multiple pathways and differentiated learning supports based on student needs.

As a community, we rely on Jeffco students to become our future leaders. Issue 3A invests in Jeffco students’ future.

Our district needs your help to ensure voters have the facts so they can support this measure. Please donate to help the Yes on 3A & 3B campaign educate more voters.

We fully expect the ousted school board members and their cohorts to invest in mailers that distort the truth. By investing in the campaign, you can help  Jeffco voters understand the important of investing in Jeffco students.

The Yes on 3A and 3B campaign could also use your help walking door to door, or calling voters, or writing a letter to the editor.

Pick up and display a yard sign, and print out this sign for your car window.

After you vote, start using this graphic in your social media profiles to encourage others to vote, too.

img_7421Please join all of us at JeffCo School Board Watch as we work together to pass 3A and 3B November 8!

 

JeffCo Proud!

2 thoughts on “3A – Funding to Address Student Achievement, Whole Child

  1. I don’t hear any argument why voting for 3A is a good idea as it leaves the state of Colorado off the hook for funding our schools. Are we setting a dangerous precedent here?

    • We don’t think it lets the state off the hook so much as it acknowledges the financial reality that every single school district in Jeffco faces. Jason Glass, the superintendent of Eagle County Schools put it this way: “I’d like to say that Colorado is on its way toward restoring these cuts. Alas, the cavalry is not on the way from the state. The plain, cold reality is that without a local solution, our schools will never return to pre-recession levels.”
      http://www.vaildaily.com/opinion/editorials/23577699-113/vail-daily-column-a-pivotal-moment
      JCSBW writers have written letters to legislators, attended rallies to ask the state to reduce the negative factor, as have all our Colorado superintendents and other parents and concerned taxpayers. It hasn’t made a dent–likely because there are so many laws that both limit the amount of taxes the state can collect and yet more laws governing how those dollars are spent. TABOR’s ratchet-down effect makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for school districts to recoup the money that voters approved with Amendment 23. We’ve had a court ruling that said the way the state funds schools is unconstitutional. And yet, we’re still waiting for the state to send the cavalry–and it’s not coming. Maybe it will years down the road, but that won’t do any good for our students.

      Students who started school in 2009 and 2010 have only known districts that made severe cuts. Those students are now halfway through their K-12 education. We could continue wishing and hoping and praying (and complaining about why student achievement doesn’t improve even though these students have always had less resources, larger class sizes, and teachers who are more underpaid with every passing year), or we can say that we are committed to student achievement and quality education and that we’re willing to invest in our local schools. 3A will provide a modest compensation increase to attract and retain excellent teachers, plus it puts more money into the budget of every single Jeffco school that those schools can use for additional resources, to expand hands-on learning opportunities, to expand STEM and music and arts programming. Money from 3A will also be used to improve school safety and security (as will money from 3B in the form of facility safety improvements). That’s an important one, because while the state passed the Claire Davis Act, they didn’t bother to put any extra money for safety and security upgrades in school funding. We can do better than that–and we should.

      3A and 3B are not the end of the story. If they pass (and we hope they do), we will continue to push the state to reduce the negative factor and fund our schools properly across the state. In the meantime, 3A and 3B will help.

Comments are closed.