SJK Public Comment at BOE Meeting

Thanks to Jonna for providing the SJK Public Comment on April 5th to our Jeffco Board of Education! Sharing here for you to read!

As a Co-founder, I’m here on behalf of Support Jeffco Kids –

We want to encourage the board to pass the resolution on tonight’s agenda to support the citizens’ initiative #93, Great Schools Thriving Communities.

Given that our district (just like every other school district in Colorado) has not been made whole since the creation of the Negative Factor in 2009, we feel it’s imperative to support this effort to give the voters of Colorado an opportunity to fix our state’s public education funding.

It should be noted, Colorado is so far behind on funding its schools, even with the $1.6 Billion this measure would bring, Colorado would still be below the national average.   But, considering Jeffco schools has not passed a Mill Levy Override and Bond since 2012 – Six  years ago –  the funding from this measure would help to make up for much of the impact the negative factor has had, allow our district to be more competitive in teacher salaries, fund full day kindergarten, and would provide funding to better support our English Language Learners, Gifted and Talented, Special Ed, and actually fund Free AND Reduced Lunch. It’s the right thing to do for our children’s future  and for our own future.

Should it pass, Great Schools Thriving Communities would bring to Jeffco alone, between $120 and $140 million additional dollars.   92% of Colorado filers would see no increase in their state taxes, and it allows for a Gallagher fix – for education purposes – giving our non-residential owners relief by dropping their rates from 29% to 24% before freezing it, and freezing our residential rate at 7.0%, so we don’t continue to lose funds.

Compare this to any ask Jeffco would make of its voters on a local basis, which would likely be for $40 million plus or minus; and all of Jeffco’s property owners would see an increase.  There would be no Gallagher fix, so we would need to go back to our voters time and time again.  We think it makes Great Schools Thriving Communities a measure well worth supporting.

TABOR does not allow for any tax increase without a vote of the people.  But nowhere does it state “don’t ask the voters”.  So let’s do that.  Let’s ask our voters about funding public education.

“They say, if you want to know what a community values, look at how its children are treated.  If you want a sense of what a community hopes for the future, look at how it values its schools.”

Tonight, by approving this resolution, you have an opportunity to demonstrate where your values lie with a commitment to All Colorado kids.

We are proud to report, they voted in support, unanimously!