You may have seen the first print ad for Yes on 3A in last Sunday’s paper. The ad is strong on SVVSD accomplishments and outlines steps the School District and Board of Education have taken to cope with $20M in state funding cuts over the past three years. We would like to share some additional details that support the Board of Education’s decision to put a mill levy override on the November ballot.
- Over the past three years, the District has made $16.8M in permanent cuts primarily from administration and central support. Administration comprises 2.9% of the current SVVSD budget. This means there are 21 managers that work in the downtown office to support ~3,000 employees and ~30,000 students. Further, 85% of the SVVSD budget goes toward human resources (i.e., teachers and staff.)
- The cuts have necessitated increases in class sizes at all grade levels. All schools have some classrooms with more than 30 students. The biggest increases have been at the middle school and high school level to protect early childhood learning as much as possible. Class options have also been reduced at the high school level.
- In an effort to keep class sizes below 30, schools have cut intervention positions such as literacy and GT. These positions allow educators to differentiate student instruction and prevent and old-fashioned ‘one-size-fits-all’ education.
- SVVSD teacher compensation remains below our neighbors and competitors in Boulder Valley and Thompson Valley.
- There have been no teacher layoffs, per se, but teachers are not being replaced for attrition. Enrollment over the last three years has increased by ~ 1,800 students or 7.3%
- Individual school budgets (excludes salaries) were cut last year by 25%.
- More than $1M in budget cuts have been made to technology refresh and replacement cycles.
- The District has used $5M in reserves to balance the current budget. It is not sustainable to balance budgets using reserves year after year.
In the event the MLO passes, the $14.8M* provided to the school district will go toward sustaining a balanced budget that will improve current education services. The plan for allocation of MLO funds is:
- Recruiting and retaining high qualified teachers and staff – $4.35M
- Maintaining class sizes – $4.2M
- Maintaining instructional technology and rigorous programming – $3.65M
- Protecting pre-school and full-day kindergarten programs – $1M
- Charter school allocation – $1.6M (required by law)
*Note, this amount will vary depending on actual assessed home values.
We hope this information is helpful to you and empowers you to have the conversation about school funding in your community. Our District leadership, Superintendent Don Haddad and Board of Education members, are available to provide more information. Their contact information can be found on the SVVSD website.