Last week, Governor Hickenlooper presented a budget for the coming year that includes what the Denver Post called “the biggest hit [to K-12 funding] in state history.”
The Governor’s proposal would result in cuts of $497 per pupil. That translates to a $12.7M cut for SVVSD in addition to the millions of dollars in state cuts to our school district over the past two years. These cuts have been taking place while costs associated with running schools have increased. Additionally, enrollment has increased 13% since 2007. More kids than ever before need our schools to be effective and sustainable. Prior cuts have made us lean and efficient, but we have reached a tipping point.
Our schools simply can’t absorb cuts like this without dimming the future prospects of our children.
Grassroots St Vrain has remained active since the passage of the 2008 Bond and Mill Levy Override. Last year, we helped educate voters on the negative impact ballot initiatives 60/61&101 would have on public education funding. That effort brought to light a long-term systemic problem with state education funding that has come to a head this past Tuesday with the Governor’s proposed $375M in education cuts. Unlike most of the state’s school districts, SVVSD was able to avoid raising class sizes and cutting academic programs this school year. However, that will be much more difficult to accomplish if faced with a $12.7M cut to its general fund next year.
What can you do now?
1. Grassroots St Vrain is forming several teams to take on these issues at the state, district and local school levels. Each of us possesses unique skills and interests crucial to a successful Grassroots effort. We have prepared an informational briefing for you on the impacts of these issues and how you can contribute or simply become informed. Please respond to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will provide you with the details of the meeting scheduled for March 3rd.
2. Grassroots St Vrain is part of the Great Futures Colorado coalition, which advocates for better investment in Colorado’s schools, colleges and universities. If these budget cuts are not OK with you, please sign the Great Futures letter to state leaders, asking them: “Do you understand the real impact that multiple years of cuts are having on Colorado students and are you OK with that?”
Thank you for taking action for St Vrain Valley’s students, community and future.