To benefit every student, family and staff member – and the entire Douglas County community – the Castle Rock Town Council at its Sept. 19 meeting expressed its support for the Douglas County School District’s ballot initiatives 5A (Mill Levy Override) and 5B (Bond Issue).
Council voted to pass a resolution of support (approved 5-2, For: Mayor Jason Gray, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bracken and Councilmembers Ryan Hollingshead, Desiree LaFleur and Tim Dietz; Opposed: Councilmembers Laura Cavey and Max Brooks), which in reference to the Mill Levy Override said:
“Unlike neighboring school districts, the Douglas County School District … receives substantially less Mill Levy Override funding than it is allowed to receive under State law, resulting in a local funding gap that has significantly and negatively impacted the district’s ability to offer competitive wages to all of its staff and teachers; … by approving an annual increase in the District’s Mill Levy Override of $66 million, voters would enable the District to use $60 million to make compensation more competitive for District teachers and staff … the District has committed to using the remaining $6 million of the Mill Levy Override to increase security support for the District’s schools.”
With regard to the Bond Issue, the resolution went on to say: “It is our collective responsibility, as a community, to build and maintain schools through local taxes … and, as such (the School District), is seeking the authority to issue $484 million in District bonds … (which) will also be used to fund the construction of three new neighborhood schools,” including one in Castle Rock’s Crystal Valley area, per School District materials on the topic. “Remaining Bond proceeds will be used by the District to make school safety and security upgrades, provide career and technical education opportunities for students, and update, maintain, equip, and replace education facilities to provide safe and adequate learning spaces for students and staff, and to reduce overcrowding.”
Majority voter support from throughout the School District would be needed to pass these items in November’s election, which will be conducted by mail ballot. Ballots are being mailed in mid-October to registered voters and are due in no later than 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7.
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