Forums Tonight and Inaccurate Info

We are sad to report the public forums on the Superintendent search at Alameda Jr/Sr HS and Dakota Ridge last night were poorly attended.

We do hope more people in the community turnout to provide their input about the qualities they want the next leader of our school district to have. We know it was short notice and how busy life can get but your input and feedback is critical to ensure success in Jeffco

It’s a simple Q & A format. The representative from Ray & Associates was interested in knowing what YOU, the members of the Jeffco Community felt were important things to tell prospective candidates about our school district and why they should consider coming here to work.  Why he or she should consider moving a spouse and family here (possibly from out of state or out of district

What are the important issues YOU want the next superintendent to be ready to address

This is the key person who will direct/determine how our district functions in the future to meet the needs of our 86,000+ students, and our 14,000 employees.  How our school district performs impacts our business community and our property values

Unfortunately, there are folks who make sure they turn up at these forums who do not have our children’s best interest at heart.  These folks would have Ray & Assoc. believe we have plenty of funding for our public schools – as much as $11,000 per student, that our district offers little to no choice, and that we are failing academically.  None of this is true

If CDE says they give our district $7236.81 for this year, how does that equate to $11,000? It doesn’t, never in history has Colorado funded education at that rate. Therefore, it’s easy to see that someone is telling a lie (AKA giving an #alternativefact) that actually misinforms others and hurts children. Here’s a quick screenshot and you can look for yourself on the CDE website:

COUNTY DISTRICT 2016-17 ESTIMATED PER PUPIL FUNDING AFTER NEGATIVE FACTOR
JEFFERSON JEFFERSON 7,236.81
The data here goes all the way back to 2004: https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdefinance/sfdetails
What they’d like to mislead you to believe is that you can take a dollar amount from financials and divide it by the number of students. Doesn’t work that way in public school accounting, you’re counting some funds twice if you do that as well as some funds that not taxpayer dollars and have nothing to do with education funding.

The key to understanding total appropriations and why schools focus on the General Fund for budgeting begins with understanding the purpose and use of funds.

  • Governmental entities use fund accounting to track revenues and expenditures, mostly due to the fact that some funds have very specific restrictions on how dollars can be spent, e.g. Food Services and Grants.
  • Separate funds are created to track revenue that is received for a specific purpose and to assist with meeting special reporting requirements — similar to separate checking accounts.
  • Having separate funds ensures that dollars are tracked and used for intended purposes and allows for better transparency.
  • Jeffco has fourteen (14) funds, not including the Charter Fund.  The district does not budget for charter schools. Charter schools have sole control of their funds and expenditures and, per state statute, are required to appropriate their own budgets. These funds cannot be used to help with district-managed schools.
  • The General Fund is our main operating fund. It accounts for the majority of district expenditures and offers the best opportunity for impact to student learning.
  • Per Colorado statute the district is required to appropriate a budget for each fund. However, adding appropriations for all of the funds together does not equal the total district expenditures.

Why?

Some funds receive transfers from the general fund; thus, adding these funds together would result in double counting because the expenditures occur in both funds. 

And, some funds represent revenue received for a specific purpose (activity/program). Thus, it would be wrong to assume that those dollars could be transferred to the general fund for general operating purposes because suspension of the specific purpose/activity/program would eliminate the revenue.

SJK Note – this represents tshirts that families purchase for field day, fees parents pay, money for yearbooks, field trips, spirit wear, fundraisers, etc. – items we choose to purchase with our own money. NOT tax dollars! The school simply organizes these events and collects the monies for family convenience.

http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/the-false-billion-dollar-budget/

Colorado ranks near the bottom nationally in funding our students https://www.greateducation.org/statistics-faqs/statistics/
According to the district budget presentation on January 26, 2017, 2016/17 Per Pupil Funding is $7,237 which is a rounded number and also coincides with the figures CDE provided.  http://www.boarddocs.com/co/jeffco/Board.nsf/files/AHVTJ8778E52/$file/Presentation%202017-18%20Budget%20Update%20BOE%2001-26-17%20rev.pdf

 

We are not a failing school district 

  • Jeffco students continue to outperform the state. In 2016, Jeffco students’ average ACT scores reached their highest level, exceeding state performance across all indicators.
  •  Jeffco high school graduates earned $75 million in college scholarships in 2016.
  • The National Merit Scholar Program chose 22 Jeffco students as semifinalists. 
  • Eight Jeffco high schools were listed in U.S. News’ 50 Top High Schools in Colorado: D’Evelyn (#4), Evergreen (#13), Conifer (#17), Lakewood (#20), Chatfield (#25), Ralston Valley (#27), Dakota Ridge (#42), and Bear Creek (#45).
  • D’Evelyn (#46) and Jefferson Academy High School (#272) were both listed in Newsweek’s 2016 America’s Top High Schools Report, a listing of the top 500 high schools in the country. D’Evelyn was the top-ranking school for Colorado. 
  • In 2016, 31 Jeffco schools received statewide recognition for academic excellence or notable gains, including the Governor’s Distinguished Improvement Award, John Irwin Award and Blue Ribbon Award recipients. Cite: SJK post
  • Jeffco Public Schools has approximately 4,700 teachers, most of whom are highly qualified. Many have advanced degrees and several have earned national and state recognition.

 

Forums tonight –

Wednesday, February 22nd:

  • Warren Tech Founders Room, 9:30am – 10:30am
  • Arvada West High School Library, 7pm – 8pm
  • Evergreen High School Library, 7pm – 8pm

Survey

This survey will be available until 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2017.

Here’s the link to complete the survey – please participate!