We recently read the Arvada Press and saw a few letters to the editor that have information about our schools so flat out WRONG that it makes your head spin!
Let’s make something really, really crystal clear – the Facility Master Plan is not a plan by the School Board that we just elected. This is a proposed plan put forward by district staff that covers efficiencies for maintaining facilities owned by the district. It’s also NOT approved. Perhaps if some of these folks cared a little less about complaining about taxes, wearing tinfoil on their heads while looking for union conspiracy theories and a little more about looking at the conditions we send the children of the county to learn in every day, every year, they could open their minds and see those conditions are not the best we can offer. Do we seriously want 45 – 60 year old, falling-apart facilities for our CHILDREN? It’ a choice, Jeffco. Sure, your home is 45 years old but it also doesn’t have 500 children going through it every single day. That’s a lot of wear and tear!
Let’s also remember that this $800 Million plan is for a HUGE district that has to serve every child in the county and it’s an efficiencies suggestion that encompasses possible plans for 13 years. The district has to keep the children safe. It is responsible for ensuring that we have quality staff in every school to serve those children and families AND we are paying our staff less than any other surrounding district.
And that’s just the teachers. Administrators and classified staff are also hugely underpaid.
Then think of the safety aspects. You’ve seen the reports on the news. You’ve seen the lock downs, lock outs, and threats that now seem to be a common topic that impacts our children daily. Yet we are funding our safety and security department about $4Million less than Denver with about the same number of students who need to be served. As well as keeping the very staff who will be there to protect our children safe.
The excuse in these letters for not supporting our schools and children is….achievement. They claim our schools are the most horrid. Yet, the data proves otherwise. http://www.cde.state.co.us/schoolview
Jeffco is a nationally recognized district with impressive schools and programs that serve our children amazingly well, DESPITE being underfunded! Do test results show everything about our schools? No! We know that socioeconomically disadvantaged kids don’t test as high as kids who have more resources available to them. But they still show growth! They still show accomplishments! They still need to be served. Imagine what we could do if we could afford to put more interventionists in classrooms, if we had the money to provide additional trainings that would impact learning, if we had the money to give every child a head start with preschool and other early interventions!
They claim our district has a BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET. Guess what? That’s another lie! Both the former CFO and current CFO have corrected this a ridiculous number of times. Much of the budget included in that false number consists of donations to schools from PTAs to purchase items at individual schools, t-shirts that parents purchased for their children for field day or Day Without Hate, specific fees to purchase other items that the school was nice enough to organize to make it easy for us as parents, fees to provide foreign language classes and this list goes on and on — they aren’t funds from taxes, it is money that belongs to the parents directly! The CFO has also explained repeatedly that some of the funds in that ridiculous number are account transfers (because there are laws about how accounting needs to reflect funds) and so this includes money counted more than once. It’s not a budget!
People who deliberately attempt to mislead the public about education funding are just unethical. We hope our children are watching and learning and remember NEVER to act this way. What an incredibly unethical way to behave when it comes to talking about appropriately serving our kids.
If you’re a parent, grandparent, teacher, staff member, or someone who cares about kids, this should make you incredibly upset as well. So, write a letter yourself about the importance of supporting Jeffco Schools and Support Jeffco Kids!
Ready to write? Here’s how!
Feel free to send a copy to us as well!
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.