In less than three weeks, citizens will vote whether or not to approve a mill levy override that Lewis-Palmer School District 38 is seeking.
The board of education has approved where the money will be allocated for the first year if the tax measure is approved.
“We want the money to go back into the classrooms,” Mark Pfoff, vice-president of the D-38 school board, said. “We owe a good education to our students.”
The money will be used to restore critical student services that the district has had to cut, maintain the ones that are still in place and hire and keep quality teachers. Some of the specifics on where the funds will go include:
• $1.3 million will be used to restore 22 classroom teachers and instructional budgets
• $1 million to attract and retain the best teachers
• $900,000 to restore counselors, teachers who support students struggling in math and reading, teachers for gifted and talented students, technology teachers and elementary summer school teachers
• $720,000 will go to Monument Academy proportionately based on the number of students enrolled at the charter school
• $450,000 will go to provide updated technology for students
• $130,000 will be used to enhance the safety and security environment for students and staff
Pfoff said the district never knows from year to year where the teachers are needed and will place them strategically where they are needed to drop the classroom size down. If the MLO should pass the first focus will be on putting teachers in place for kindergarten through third grade.
He also said there is a real need for updating technology in the classrooms.
“We are trying to teach modern technology kids with years old technology,” Pfoff added.
Pfoff said that a committee made up of parents, teachers and community members will be formed to ensure the money is being properly spent.
Pfoff also wants the citizens to understand the difference between the MLO the district is requesting and Amendment 66. Amendment 66 is a statewide initiative to change how the state would fund public schools. It is asking for a $950 million dollar tax increase. Income taxes for individuals would increase from 4.63 percent to 5.0 percent on the first $75,000 of state taxable income and 5.9 percent on any taxable income above $75,000.
Pfoff said in Amendment 66 the revenue goes to the state and the state then allocates the money to the school districts.
“The (D-38) MLO is given 100 percent to the children. It’s an opportunity for the local community to help our children,” Pfoff said.
The D-38 school board takes no stance on Amendment 66 but wants citizens to understand the difference between the two tax measures.