FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2015
Douglas County Parents is deeply concerned over the fact that the DCSD Board of Education has chosen not put a bond on the ballot this November, as recommended by the Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) to address the $275 million in current capital needs. The district tasked parent volunteers on the LRPC with educating the community, including visiting School Accountability Committees at each of its 80+ schools, then reporting back to them with feedback collected. The majority of suggestions supported placing a bond on the ballot, yet district leadership decided not to give voters the chance to decide whether to pursue this long-term solution.
This year, Douglas County had the rare opportunity to maintain the current tax rate with a $200M bond, addressing a large majority of our capital needs. Instead, the Board of Education has chosen to watch capital needs grow at an average of $30M each year, likely making this year’s total needs in excess of $300M.
Douglas County’s capital needs include new school buses, a new addition to Castle View High School, additional preschool rooms, a new Special Education facility, roof replacement, fire alarm systems, security systems, mechanical systems such as boilers, chillers, electrical switchgear, transformers, panels, new carpets and paint.
“This degree of apathy toward our district’s capital needs is disturbing,” said Jason Virdin, a parent in Douglas County. “The safety and well-being of our children and staff inside these buildings should be the fundamental focus of our Board of Education. They talk about how safety is their #1 priority, yet they have presented no long-term plan to protect our greatest assets.”
Without a bond in 2015, the critical needs will continue and the impact to schools’ site based budgets (SBB) could be huge. At a recent public meeting, the district’s Chief Financial Officer estimated that an additional 11% of Per Pupil Revenue may need to be reallocated to meet the district’s capital needs. That equates to a $741 annual per student impact directly to schools (see image, right), with an average impact of $370,500 per year at each elementary school (500 students), $741,000 at each middle school (1,000 students) and $1,482,000 at each high school (2,000 students).
“This School Board has failed our community miserably with this inaction,” said Maria Lauer, former DCSD teacher and parent in the district. “They have a responsibility to at least put the issue to the voters and let them decide.”
About Douglas County Parents
DCP is a growing local volunteer advocacy group made up of over 1,400 parents, teachers, students, and community members of all political affiliations, ages and professions who are concerned about the policies that the Douglas County Board of Education and district administration have forced upon our community. DCP’s community outreach efforts include sharing facts backed with documentation garnered through the school district and Colorado Department of Education websites and publications, Colorado Open Record Requests, and attending a variety of school district meetings. Please contact spokesperson, Meg Masten, at firstname.lastname@example.org for updates and statements relating to DCSD issues.