By Meg Masten, parent
February 21, 2014
Published in Denver Post Your Hub
Over the past four years, I have witnessed a significant decline in the quality of our public schools in Douglas County. We have lost fine arts as part of the standard curriculum in elementary schools. We’ve lost full-time high school as the norm. We have lost free transportation for students. We have lost superb, experienced teachers to other districts. Class sizes have risen while instructional time has been cut down. The end result is a deterioration of what was once a stellar school district.
Schools do not have the financial resources to address their growing list of obstacles. So where has all the money gone? There has been a distinct shift in the distribution of tax dollars over the past four years. Communication costs have increased from $21,000 in 2009-’10 to $315,836 in just the first half of this current school year. DCSD has spent more than $2.6 million since 2009 on legal fees and services despite having its own attorney on staff. Testing and Assessment costs have skyrocketed from $359,000 in 2009-’10 to nearly $1 million in just the first half of this year. Moving forward, DCSD has publicly announced plans to spend $4 million on new human resources software, as well as hire a public relations firm.
These excessive upper-administration expenditures have directly damaged public education in Douglas County. As a community, we can begin to repair our district by demanding fiscal responsibility and prioritized budgeting of our superintendent and board of education. The next public meeting is March 3 at Cimarron Middle School in Parker.