As former Jeffco School Board members, we’ve all experienced the stress of deciding what cuts to make to our district’s already very limited resources.
None of us can recall a time when it …
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As former Jeffco School Board members, we’ve all experienced the stress of deciding what cuts to make to our district’s already very limited resources.None of us can recall a time when it wasn’t a reality during our term in office. That’s one of the many reasons we are all so excited about endorsing and lending our full support to Amendment 73.Amendment 73 is a statewide measure that would be a long-term fix after a decade of cuts to our public schools putting Colorado in the bottom rankings when it comes to funding our students and paying our teachers.In fact, Colorado invests about $2,800 less than the national average on each student.This disinvestment has real consequences, such as Colorado paying the least competitive teacher wages in the nation.Amendment 73 raises $1.6 billion statewide, yet 92 percent of tax filers will not be impacted. In addition, it gives local school districts the control they need to address their biggest priorities like raising teacher pay, strengthening vocational education, increasing student safety, and meeting the needs of all students.Jeffco has already passed a board resolution outlining how these resources will be spent to meet our local needs and is committed to being transparent and accountable to its public.Jeffco schools would see an additional annual revenue of about $135 million.Since 2009, Jeffco has lost nearly $700 million in state funding that would have gone to supporting our local students. It will take more than five years of this new funding to repay those past shortfalls.Think about it: a 5-year-old who started kindergarten in 2008 would be in their freshman year (9th grade) in high school today.That child will have spent the bulk of their public school education in schools underfunded: losing teachers, cutting programs, increased fees, outdated teaching materials, sitting in classrooms needing repairs, and missing updated technology. Is that what we want for another generation of students?Our voters have a real opportunity before them this November to make a difference in our children’s future. Let’s vote Yes on Amendment 73 and give our children a future they deserve.Signed by former Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education members Jon DeStefano, David DiGiacomo, Jill Fellman, Robin Johnson, Sue Marinelli, Debra Oberbeck, Michele Patterson, Judy Pierce, William Ross, Richard Rush and Dave Thomas.
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