Cherry Creek School District turns to voters

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The Cherry Creek School District is asking voters for help in the form of a pair of ballot measures.

One of those is 3A, a $125 million dollar school bond measure put forth by the school district seeking additional funding help for new construction, as well as upgrades in technology and security throughout the district.

Specifically, ballot wording indicates the budget election would provide for operating expenses to maintain class size in kindergarten through 12th grade, provide curriculum and instruction necessary for success in college and the workplace, continue the district's commitment to academic excellence and utilize technology to ensure student success in the 21st century.

Another is 3B, a $25 million mill-levy override the district thinks is necessary to keep class sizes from growing and fund instructional materials, among other things according to district officials.

School officials point to budget reductions and a growing student population as prime reasons for the initiative, citing having to operate on the same funding levels as the 2006-07 school year, despite adding 2,700 students.

Combined, the two measures would cost the owner of home valued at $300,000 in the district about $8 per month, or $96 per year, in additional property taxes, according to officials.

The district's Long Range Facility Planning Committee, a group of citizens and district employees, recommended the bond issue after reviewing the 2012-17 needs.

Cherry Creek's Chief Financial Officer Guy Bellville told board members earlier this year that that without a budget election, the district faces a $16.4 million budget shortfall for the coming 2012-2013 school year.

Bond money would also support the acquisition and purchase of buildings and land. Expansions to Grandview and Cherokee Trail high schools were recommended by the planning committee in lieu of building a new high school at the cost of $125 million.

Details of the proposed spending are available on the district's website at www.cherrycreekschools.org/News.