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The Jefferson County Board of Education adopted it 2017-2018 budget June 1 with a unanimous vote.
The $978.9 million budget comes with an increase of $18.9 million of funding from the state. Jeffco will receive $7,483 per pupil, an increase of $237.66 per pupil. This is above the state base funding level, but below the state average of $7,662 per pupil.
“Although we’re in a little better shape, we have a lot of work to do in the state of Colorado,” said Jeffco board president Ron Mitchell about state education funding.
Highlights from the adopted budget include an additional $3.7 million to be allocated to school based budgeting for one-time use, an increase of more than $20 million for teacher compensation, and the closing of Pleasant View Elementary, which will save the district $662,742 annually.
The upcoming fiscal year will run July 1 through June 30, 2018.
A public hearing on the proposed budget was held at the regular Board of Education meeting on April 20, to provide an opportunity for citizens to address the Board regarding the proposed budget.
Discussions for the 2017/18 budget began shortly after the Board of Educations bond and mill levy package 3A and 3B failed in the November 2016 election. The board quickly named increasing teacher compensation as one of its top priorities, which led the district to draft a list of $20 million in cuts. Included in those cuts was the proposed closure of five elementary schools.
After outcry from the community, the Board decided on closing just one of those schools this year — Pleasant View Elementary in Golden, which closed its doors for good May 23.
In February, following recommendation from Superintendent at the time, Dan McMinimee and his cabinet, the Board voted to eliminate budget cuts to student programing including the Gifted and Talented program at Wheat Ridge High School, literacy interventionists and social and emotional learning specialists.
Even without these cuts, the district identified $20 million in other places to save money, to add to the teacher compensation increases.
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