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Children / School

Jeffco Parents: Don’t Miss the Important Mill Levy Meeting at the School Board on Thursday

I am on the Accountability committee at my children’s elementary school.

Basically, this just means I sit in our meetings drowning in numbers as we discuss the nuts and bolts of Jeffco Public Schools.

But one digit I understand is a very large one: $111.3 million. That is Jeffco’s total anticipated reductions from 2010-2016. As a parent, addressing such a number is a daunting task that no amount of cookie dough sales will ever tackle.

It’s a good thing, too because that would wreak havoc on my waistline.

At our last meeting, we were given the task to find real, tangible ways concerned parents, teachers, staff and community can get involved.

And thanks to Michele Patterson, we have one. As the 4th Vice President of Communications for Jeffco PTA with children at Moore Middle and Pomona High School she is soliciting a call to action for you to attend the school board meeting Thursday, March 1 to tell them how important it is to our children to have a mill levy (and bond) placed on this year’s ballot.

According to Patterson, this is a campaign to raise awareness in Jefferson County about the devastating effects funding cuts are having on our schools. During the 2008 mill/bond campaign the district was projecting budget cuts over a 3-year period, beginning in 2009, to the tune of approximately $36,000,000. In 2008, after six years of budget cuts, this was a devastating number.

We all know what happened.

“The nation went into a deep recession and state school funding (and other services) was slashed,” said Patterson. “Because of this, Jeffco Schools’ cuts in just the last two years have totaled $51,300,000. The full funding/revenue decrease was much greater but thanks to our reserves we were able to cushion the blow. Without that cushion the cuts for 10-11 and 11-12 would have been nearly $108,000,000.”

Patterson goes on to say that in 08-09 our per pupil funding from the state was $6,704. For 12-13, the district has projected a decrease of at least $700 per pupil. In an elementary school with 400 students, like Weber, that’s a loss of $280,000. In a high school with 1,500 students, like Pomona, that’s over $1 million in loss of funding.

“If we don’t pass a mill in 2012 there may not be much of a school district left to help in 2013 and beyond,” she says.

Concerned parents and staff will be given 10 minutes or more to speak at the school board meeting about how these cuts have and will hurt them.

If you plan to make a stand on Thursday and/or would like a turn to speak to the board during the group’s time, please email Patterson at [email protected].

Meeting specifics:
Thursday, March 1, 2012 at 6 p.m.
Jeffco Education Center
1829 Denver West Dr., Bldg 27, Golden, 80401, 5th Floor Board Room.

For additional information, be sure to read Jefferson County School Board Keeps Cuts Out of the Classrooms for 2012/2013 School Year.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.