We have a really important election coming up. In just 34 more days, we’ll know. In just 12, people will receive ballots and start voting.
Here are two situations:
You have a great neighborhood school that provides plenty of opportunities for your kids. They have before and after school care while you work during the day. You have great staff who has been at the school for several years and knows every child and their individual needs. There are a variety of clubs to choose from: science, keyboarding, robotics, math, running, yearbook, technology and cooking. You know your kids are safe and happy and served well by tremendous staff from the minute you drop them off to the minute you pick them up.
You have a great neighborhood school that is doing it’s best to keep up with the needs of students. The heater doesn’t work on some days and several of the faucets are shut down because there was lead in the 60 year old pipes and the district doesn’t yet have the money to fix it. You have a new principal and several new staff members every year because the others left to go to a neighboring district where they could make 19% more to take care of their own families. One of your kids goes to school for the first part of the day and the other goes for the second half because they have to share the school and have capacity issues. There are no clubs because of the split schedule. Also no daycare, so you quit your job so you could shuttle the kids yourself and ensure you weren’t leaving them home alone or having to pay for daycare because there is no longer an after school program. Plus the carpet is more than 20 years old and we still haven’t been able to restore janitorial staff hours so the kids get colds and other viruses more often.
Which school do you choose? 3A and 3B provide opportunities for our schools to improve and recover from the devastating cuts that have occurred since 2009. Most of our schools are currently somewhere in the middle of these two situations. November 8th will determine which school you end up in.
We’ve seen too many posts from parents saying “I voted for a mill and bond last time and I haven’t seen any improvements.” That mill and bond were merely a Band-Aid and we still made cuts that year! Of course, you haven’t seen improvements – we just stopped the bleeding! And let’s not forget that the previous board majority diverted $9 million of those funds away from their allocated purpose.
We watch friends questioning their support because they want something special in return for their own kids. Special programs, different curriculum, new buildings, etc. I have a child and I understand that too but impacting 86,000 others in the event you don’t get your special something is an awfully broad sweep to not support something that serves all. Maybe not everything you want or that I want but to vote against public education for that reason just bewilders me.
It’s about all 86,000 kids.
Think about the repercussions of 3A and 3B not passing! How devastatingly it will impact our kids while more cuts are being predicted from the state! Not only will you not get your special something but see how negatively more cuts impact the education we are providing to all 86,000 students!
School closures and consolidations
Love your school and think that because the board voted to not close or consolidate your school that you’re now safe? Think again, it has to go back on the table because there’s no money to support what you want.
Split schedules & Year round schools, Changing boundaries and transportation radius
If you thought getting your kids to school and dealing with early release days were difficult, think hard about this impact. Sending one child to school for part of the year and not having schedules overlap for another child. Having our children on busses for extended durations. Some of these issues mean that one parent won’t be able to hold a full-time job and if you want your children bussed for extended hours during the week, you’ll cut their after school opportunities as well. Even if you have choices, not all of the other 86,000 do. With these potential impacts, remember that daycares/after school programs inside the schools won’t be a possibility either.
Limited ability to meet basic deferred maintenance
The district has more than 12 million square feet to maintain. That’s a tremendous task! How much time do you spend cleaning and maintaining your own home? Now multiply that by the additional district square footage, or even just one school, and, while you’re at it, invite 500 students and 50 staff members to use your home all day long. Once they’ve left, invite over community members to hold meetings and use your home for Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or sporting practice.
Continuing to lose great staff
We’ve personally lost enough teachers and staff to even consider allowing this to continue. The number of teachers, staff, and administrators I’ve watched leave our district is heartbreaking. The quality, experience, and passion that we’ve lost is impacting our kids and not good for our kids.
Larger class sizes
We’ve reported class sizes in elementary schools up to 38 students in the past and a lot of this remains a problem throughout the district. Parents who have had children in classes larger than 30 will tell you just how impactful and negative this is for our children. Our classrooms were not built to accommodate this many students.
Higher fees for parents
We can’t even count the number of FaceBook complaints I saw about fees as we started back to school. If we have to make cuts, the fees only get larger.
Lack of resources for student learning, Cutting programs and opportunities for students
I’m done with cuts to my child’s education and we don’t want any more for the other 86,000 either. Colorado universities cut their requirements for our students because we had to cut services. Students before those in our schools today had far more services, resources, and opportunities. We have gone backward instead of forward.
A huge thanks to those of you in Jeffco who are volunteering and have stepped up. You’re appreciated!
Now for those of you who haven’t volunteered for something yet, it’s time to step up. If you see the consequences of 3A and 3B not passing and you’re not falling all over yourself, please ask yourself why? We should all be falling all over ourselves to figure out who can take our kids for a few hours so we can help make 3A and 3B a reality. The impact it will make for your kids and others, your own lives, is tremendous.
Last year, we proved that this community can stand up for what’s right and make a difference collectively.
We made history!
There are two links below:
Pick one, sign up, and flood the volunteer spots. If you truly care about public education and your children, you’ll figure out a way to help out. Or we can all repeat 2013. We can’t keep thinking that “someone else” will step up to help out and do the work. YOU are that “someone else!” November 9th is too late.
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