Thank you so much for attending the community budget forums on Monday and Wednesday evenings! We were pleased to see so many voices in the room and even more pleased to hear from so many who wanted to be on our distribution list.
We have received several inquiries regarding the video from the board that was shown – mainly questions about charter funding and exactly what equalization is. Please review the video by clicking below: http://stream.jeffco.k12.co.us/communications/2014_BOE_Budget.wmv (Windows)or http://stream.jeffco.k12.co.us/communications/2014_BOE_Budget.mov (Quicktime)
For the last three mill levy overrides each charter school received, direct to the individual school budget:
· $50 per student for 1999,
· $97 per student for 2004 *,
· $100 per student for 2012.
*The 2004 number used to be $100 per student, but when the drastic cuts were made the district asked the charter schools to take a little bit of a cut as well.
These amounts were agreed upon between the Charters and the District prior to being approved by voters at the ballot. Prior to going to the ballot, the group organizing the campaign, Citizens for Jeffco Schools, met with representatives of Jeffco’s Charter Schools to discuss what the schools would receive should the mill pass. It was agreed that $100 per student EACH YEAR would be fair. While the mill funds left for the neighborhood and option schools go into the General Fund, the Charter Schools receive their $100 per student directly, annually, to spend however they see fit.
The state does not require districts to share any of their mill levy funds with charter schools.
As you may recall, during the campaign, it was specifically expressed in literature and on the website how the funds would be distributed:
The video presentation for the budget forums can be found here: http://stream.jeffco.k12.co.us/communications/2014_BOE_Budget.mov
Near the end (at 10:50) is where Charter equalization is discussed.
The board will engage with the community in 2 more budget forums:
Saturday, March 8 at Lakewood and Dakota Ridge.
The Board will also have Hearings on the Budget at two regular meetings, likely in May and June, before finalizing the budget.
We want to be clear, no final decision has been made regarding Charter Equalization. It is, however, part of the Budget discussion and has been brought up by the Board on several occasions.
We would also like to express again our appreciation for your support for the 2012 mill/bond campaign. These funds were desperately needed to MAINTAIN Jeffco’s traditions of excellence. This did not bring anything new for Jeffco’s 85,000 students, but did prevent class sizes from growing even larger, 400 additional jobs from being cut, special programs such as instrumental music and specialized educators such as teacher librarians and counselors from being cut, and more.
Remember, prior to passing the mill levy override in 2012, Jeffco Schools had cut $63 million, two school days, the foreign language requirement to graduate, the variety in electives from which high school students can choose, funding for teacher professional development, teacher-librarians, assistant principals, school secretaries, clinic aides, custodial services, safety programs and funding, and more. Meanwhile, class sizes were on the rise.
Redistribution of these Mill Levy Override funds would take an additional $7.4 million in mill funds and give it directly to Jeffco’s 15 Charter Schools (6,300+ students out of Jeffco’s 85,000 total student population), leaving less than $32 million of our tax dollars to try to cover the projected $45 million in cuts we fought to avoid in 2012.