The Creation of Inequities

Problem: My child needs more services at school.

Attempted Solution: Speak to staff to ask for services only to find out that funding is not available for these services. The solution is to either go to a school other than neighborhood where the services are available or live without services. Sometimes discovering that services are not available at all due to funding.

Mission: Find funding to get services for my child and others.

  • Review district budget to find solutions and provide feedback as to where better decisions can be made. Discover that there is very little waste in the district.
  • Email legislators to demand funding. Discover that legislators do not have the power to address school funding due to TABOR. They can only take the existing budget and distribute existing resources. Discover that legislators have gone to Court to challenge their inability to address funding issues.
  • Discover that under Colorado’s model, the only way to fund our schools is to run a mill and bond campaign.
  • Address Board of Education and ask them to vote to put a mill and bond on local ballot and require school district to fund ballot expenses.
  • Realize that parents and teachers are not campaign experts but must somehow figure out how to run a campaign in a district that covers 785 square miles.
  • Meet other parents and community members and form campaign issue committee. Ask everyone for donations to reach more than 300,000 voters. Keep asking for more donations after realizing how expensive campaigns are.
  • Argue with people on social media who say “live within your means, what happened to the marijuana money, I pay enough in taxes, property taxes just went up, etc.” Provide extensive documentation to complaining individuals. Have the exact same conversations every single day on social media. Usually multiple times per day.
  • Spent every day and evening attending events and meetings to share information to have a successful campaign. Rarely see family for the duration of the campaign.
  • Learn how to phone bank.
  • Learn how to canvass and start knocking on doors any time you have extra time in the day.
  • Open up newspaper and see advertisements telling people to vote against mill and bond. (Not all districts.)
  • See arguments on social media that make false claims about what mill and bond will do.
  • Receive threats and rude messages on Facebook messenger from people who oppose taxes.
  • Read Letters to the Editor from individuals without children who claim that Jeffco wastes money, has too many admin, shows no student achievement, our staff is poor, and that our buildings are just fine. All untrue.
  • Cry a little.
  • See a post on social media about you as a person. It’s mean and ugly. Cry a little bit more.
  • Dry your tears and keep moving forward.

Election night: impatiently wait for the results and hope for the best.

 

This is the system we’ve created for properly funding our schools in Colorado. Not very effective, is it? Take a look at the Grassroots St. Vrain video explaining the same.

It’s pretty clear that we have education issues in Colorado and we have huge issues in having to run campaigns this way in our communities. We have created an educational system with gross inequities across the state, based only on the knowledge and involvement of the voters in the area.

Congratulations and bravo to these communities! Here are the winners this year:

Academy 20 Bond
Adams 12 Five Star Bond
Adams Arapahoe District 28J (Aurora Public Schools) Bond
Adams Arapahoe District 28J (Aurora Public Schools) Bond
Bayfield Bond
Boulder Mill
Brush Bond
Brush Mill
Cherry Creek Bond
Cherry Creek Mill
Deer Trail Bond
Denver Public Schools Bond
Denver Public Schools Mill
District 49 – Falcon Mill
Durango Mill
Eagle County School District RE50J Bond
Eagle County School District RE50J Bond
Eagle County School District RE50J Mill
Englewood Bond
Englewood Mill
Huerfano Mill
Mapleton Mill
Montrose County School District RE-1j Bond
Poudre Bond
Poudre Mill
Primero School District Bond
St. Vrain Bond
Summit Bond
Summit Mill
Weld County Re-3J Bond
Weld RE-1 (Gilcrest) Bond
Weld Re-3J Bond
Weld Re-3J Mill
Weld RE-4 – Windsor – Severance Mill
Weld RE-4 Windsor – Severance Bond
Weld RE-8 Bond
Wiggins Bond
Wray Mill

 

Here are the kids who lost out this year and to give you a bigger picture, the student count from CDE (which we know is lower than actual students served, Jeffco is over 86,000) is included so you can see how many children are impacted just this year:

Buena-Vista Bond 918.7
Cheyenne County Bond 172.8
Colorado Springs D-11 Bond 21,839.3
Colorado Springs D-11 Mill 21,839.3
Cripple Creek/Victor Mill 341.9
Crowley County Bond 462.0
Crowley County Mill 462.0
Greeley Mill 21,014.1
Hanover Mill 241.2
Jeffco Bond 81,422.2
Jeffco Mill 81,422.2
RE-1 Valley Sterling Mill 2,153.0
Rocky Ford Bond 798.1
Sargent RE-33j Mill 440.2
Thompson School District Bond 798.1
Thompson School District Mill 798.1
Trinidad Mill 1,149.2
Yuma Bond 776.1

 

***Mapleton’s bond is still too close to call and Pueblo 70 mill is going through a recount.

 

TABOR will be good, they said. Marijuana will take care of schools they said. Live within your means they said. Do more with less, they said.

We say, Support Jeffco Kids and support Colorado kids!