While Proposition 103 passed in Boulder County, we are disappointed that it failed statewide. We are very thankful to GSV participants who recognized the need for quality public education, have the knowledge to support these issues and the will to promote quality education in our communities. Our goal to improve public education funding was not reached this time. But Proposition 103 has helped to advance the conversation about Colorado’s budget, the impact on St. Vrain and what is happening with education in Colorado.
Without Prop 103, projected education cuts for the 2012 school year are about $160 per student as announced yesterday by Governor Hickenlooper. These are on top of cuts of more than $900 per student over the past three years. The accumulation of funding cuts makes it impossible not to increase class sizes and make additional cuts that will impact the classroom. As our district faces those tough decisions, we need to work together closely as a community to make sure the budget aligns as best it can with our priorities.
Based on Gov. Hickenlooper’s announced cuts, the four main questions our School Board will consider with community input for the preliminary 2012 budget are:
- How much do we raise class sizes?
- How many teaching positions and what classes/programs do we eliminate?
- Do we ask staff for another pay freeze and/or to pay for more benefits?
- How much of our reserves do we spend?
Twenty eight schools districts across Colorado placed local mill levies on the ballot this November. Few of them passed. Without an increase in state funding via Prop 103, St. Vrain may have to follow suit and ask the community to consider a mill levy override next year. While a local property tax increase does not solve the state-wide problem of plummeting education funds, it will allow us to sustain ourselves, our communities, schools and students.
As our District must address these pending challenges, GSV will continue to follow our mission of informing and activating citizens on education related issues.
Please sign our pledge to keep fighting for SVVSD’s students so we can add to the momentum that Proposition 103 made possible.
Thank you for your support!