COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — “A bond would help the district catch up and a mill levy would help the district to keep up,” said Devra Ashby, public information officer for District 11.
It’s been more than 10 years since the school district has turned to voters on getting tax-supported funds for the district’s needs.
Months ago, the district turned to parents and the community asking if they would support having a bond issue or a mill levy override on the November ballot.
The district says they received an overwhelming amount of feedback saying both items — which could potentially raise taxes – should be voted on.
With 3C, the $32.6 million mill levy override will go towards ongoing costs, including salaries for staff and security to increase their size and ongoing maintenance throughout the district.
With 3D, the $235 million bond is for capital infrastructure to fund one time costs, including remodeling schools and updating and refurbishing technology.
“We are the oldest school district in the area and so, the average age of our buildings is 48-years-old, approaching 50-years-old. That’s the average age, so we do have some older buildings that are in desperate need of some mechanical updates, of some electrical updates, plumbing updates,” Ashby said.
The district says they’ve seen a cut of nearly $1,000 per student after the state implemented funding reductions to all school districts in Colorado, and money from marijuana sales hasn’t replaced the loss.
“We have a higher assessed valuation and that is one strike against larger school districts. So, a lot of the Best Grant funds, or the pot money will likely go to smaller school districts. And they are in dire need, but we are likely to never see a dime of that money,” Ashby said.
According to D-11, If both 3C and 3D pass, both taxes would qualify as a deduction on income taxes.
They also add reinvesting in schools would be a reinvestment in the community, which will increase property values for neighborhood homes.