Schools are a worthy investment. Children are a worthy investment. Ballots are coming this week and your decisions and actions impact all children in Jeffco.
If you agree with those statements, ask yourself why we are investing less than 1/2 or even 1/3 the level of per pupil funding for our kids in Colorado compared to states like Massachusetts, Vermont, Pennsylvania, and even West Virginia!
This morning, listening to an interview that was done last year, we are disappointed that Jeffco did not pass the much needed mill and bond, putting Jeffco further behind other districts with regard to resources. There are children in buildings falling apart around them, despite the best efforts of facility staff to maintain them as best as possible. Our children are a worthy investment and every staff member in Colorado schools should sincerely be praised for doing a job on less than half the funding of other states and still maintaining excellent results.
Look at their faces. They deserve more from us as a community.
In visiting with administrators who have left our district for others, they all cite the improved resources in their new districts. They cite the stress of working in Jeffco and worrying that something could happen and not having resources to cover the work that needs to be done for children.
Jeffco, and most of Colorado, is a little like living in poverty. Doing the best you can do with the resources you have. Struggling to pay rent, make needed repairs, buy groceries, putting off what you cannot afford and hoping for the day when you might be able to replace your leaking roof. The day you can purchase a working stove instead of using a hot plate. The day you have your own working washer and dryer again instead of saving change for the laundromat.
As you receive your ballot this week, remember these things. Talk to a teacher or someone involved in education outside of school.
- After two terrible years, two more years with a calmer board put the district back on a stable financial path. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/jeffco-restored/
- Jeffco students continue to outperform the state. http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/student-achievement-in-jeffco/
- 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.
- 99 percent Rated as highly qualified
- 57 percent Have a master’s degree
- 1.1 percent Have a Ph.D.
- Maintaining a safe environment where students can learn without worrying about being harmed is crucial. (The children in our schools should not have to worry about being harmed while at school. The district is committed to protecting their safety and security, and a review of the facilities has identified high priority safety and security needs at our schools.)
- In the last five years, JeffCo Public Schools has received 481 million dollars LESS from the state of Colorado than was supposed to be budgeted. We need to work together to support our kids and teachers, and provide them with safe, well maintained classrooms and school buildings.
- Every single school in the district has some repair need, with many of them facing critical ones like leaky roofs, faulty wiring, out‐dated fire alarms, and other basic needs. Funding approved by voters in 2012 fixed the most urgent needs on time and within budget, but state cuts has caused a growing repair backlog.
Political parties have no place in a nonpartisan election. Please make choices for our children based on experience and involvement, a school board that supports public education is critical to the continued success of our children and schools.