As a resident of Douglas County for over three decades and former law enforcement officer, I’m supporting ballot issues 5A and 5B, the mill levy override and bond for the Douglas County School District.
As a conservative, when I first became aware of the ballot issues I was against any new taxes. Especially now. I have no children in public schools anymore and we sent our kids to private schools for high school.
But I did my due diligence and studied it. After extensive research, a couple things are worth mentioning. The bond issue is no different than what Douglas County initiated and ultimately the citizens voted on a few years ago, to extend the Justice Center Sales Tax Capital portion +, which was to sunset. We voted to continue this tax and put it toward roads to make our county safer. The school district bond will continue taxes that we are already paying, not increase them. Bonds fund schools in neighborhoods that need them, lessening the risk of transportation, keeping kids out of unsafe trailers, and keeping kids closer to home. It also funds maintenance and upgrades, which are a safety factor. Increased physical school safety enhancements like public safety radio repeaters for fire and police, and other physical safety improvements funded by bonds can’t be argued against either in my mind.
As far as the MLO, state school funding formulas are extremely complicated, and a few numbers don’t tell the whole story. I encourage you to study this: leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/2020_booklet_-_final.pdf. In my opinion the Douglas County School District has been very transparent about funding, budget and spending issues, and initiatives. I haven’t seen an example of such transparency in government that I am aware of. See dcsdk12.org/cms/one.aspx?pageId=5761709.
In Douglas County we love our freedom, we love our roads, we love our parks and open space, and we love our public safety. Our property values and economic health depend on all these things. I don’t want our schools to fail to keep up and not attract, or lose good staff, not just teachers but counselors, administrators, and security staff to other districts while we settle for what’s left. This will affect the quality of life we have here and the safety and education of our kids. I encourage you to research and support 5A and 5B.