School district MLO rejected by voters: District will continue to provide a great education

School District 38 has received the Accredited with Distinction rating once again. Since the Colorado Department of education started issuing ratings to school districts three years ago D-38 has consistently received the highest rating. File photo by Lisa Collacott
Lisa Collacott Contributing Writer
Posted

A tax increase that would have restored critical services that Lewis-Palmer School District 38 has had to cut over the years was turned down by voters.

Nearly 75 percent of voters opposed the $4.5 million tax increase that the district was asking for. The unofficial results showed that 9,866 of voters voted in opposition of the mill levy override while only 3,372 voted in favor of it.

The district has had to cut approximately $11 million from their budget over the past five years and if the mill levy would have passed it would have allowed them to restore 22 classroom teachers, counselors and teachers who support students struggling in math and reading and teachers for technology, gifted and talented students. Some of it would have gone to update technology and enhance security and safety environment for students and teachers and it would have allowed the district to give money to Monument Academy.

“This MLO was about trying to restore programs and bring our district to where it was before,” Mark Pfoff, D-38 school board member, said.

Pfoff said despite the MLO not passing, “This school board and administration is going to continue to provide an outstanding education, maintain a balanced budget and strong reserves.”

Pfoff added that over the past few years of state cuts the district has always been able to maintain their budget and reserves and still provide an outstanding education to the students. His concern however is for the struggling students who have been impacted by the cuts to critical programs and for the teachers who have taken on larger class sizes.

The district spent a year educating the community and sharing their story as to why an MLO was needed. It also gave them the chance to build-up relationships within the community.

“The bigger picture here is that we have a great community. It's a giving community and is a real great place to raise families,” Pfoff said.

Pfoff said that he doesn't see any additional cuts to the district as long as the state funding stays stable or increases.