Catching Up

Recently, we’ve been watching discussions on social media about 3A & 3B. First, it’s evident that far too many still don’t understand school funding and that we have a responsibility as a community to fund our schools. So, if you don’t mind sharing information to correct this, that would be a great thing to do. Please, have those conversations on Facebook and never hesitate to defend the education of children! This should be a nonpartisan issue.

Here are a few things we saw recently and we’d love to have your reactions to these comments (ours are in blue):

“When I was in school I rode the bus for close to an hour. Gave me time to read or socialize, don’t waste our tax dollars.”

Really? In a metro area? Does anyone really think it’s okay to put children on a bus for that long to get to and front school? How is funding students a waste of tax dollars? Also, if we bus children further, we’re going to have to invest in more buses and more drivers.

“You said Leyden rock I know where that is bus the kids from layden rock to Zerger elem! They have new home don’t mean they need a new school out here!”

Response to comment, also on social media: “Imagine how much of their day would be spent on a bus – and how many other schools they would pass along the way. Your suggestion would have significant dollar costs and costs to those students’ waking hours.”

We appreciate the community members who respond to things like this. Thinking that a boarded up building that is in need of severe renovations is a good place to put children is unreasonable as well as a safety hazard. Just like the many buildings in need of repairs currently, reopening Zerger would also cost a considerable amount of money.

“I’m so grateful people with and without school-age kids passed bond issues when I was young! I’m thankful they valued the fact that me getting a high quality education increased the quality of life for the entire community. Finally, I really appreciate those voters who valued the entire community and weren’t solely focused on their bottom line for that moment but rather always saw the greater good they were doing.”

The greater good. We appreciate this comment so much! We appreciate that those before us invested in our education. Seriously, at $4.12 per $100K of property value per month, this is an outstanding value, particularly considering how low interest rates are right now. Waiting, when we know we need to invest, would be an extreme detriment to the district, students, AND taxpayers! Realistically, we all have to admit that public education is a wise investment for current and future students and our community. We all have to admit that we waste more money than that a month. We’ve all been shopping and had impulse purchases of items we don’t really need and unused things that sit in the closet.

Jeffco has some serious catching up to do.

  • We haven’t invested in our school buildings since 2004. 12 years ago. Yes, as the U.S and Colorado economy was recovering from the Great Recession ,we passed a small bond in 2012 – as a band-aide to keep our students and staff “warm, safe and dry”. It was triage.
  • We’ve lost a lot of quality staff (over the past two years, especially).   We no longer offer competitive salaries, nor do we have the funding to recognize experienced staff who sacrificed by taking a 3% pay cut during previous years’ budget cuts. Surrounding districts pay up to 19% more than Jeffco.

86,000 KIDS, 14,000 STAFF MEMBERS, 154 SCHOOL BUILDINGS, 12+ MILLION SQUARE FEET, 780 SQUARE MILES FOR $4.12.