Brighton City Council hosted a combined meeting Tuesday with both District 27J school board members and Commerce City City Council members to discuss long-range plans for the growth of the school district and the need for more schools to be built to provide classroom space for both Brighton and Commerce City students in the 27J School District.
The borders of 27J school district cross both city limits, and housing developments continue to increase between the two cities, bringing more families with school-age children into the district. The board of education estimate the student population will increase to 17,000 by the fall of 2014.
Terry Lucero, operations department manager for 27J, told council members that the school district is looking into a mill levy override and a bond issue for the next general elections.
The school district has not received a bond to build new schools in eight years. An override of a mill levy was voted down in the last election by residents.
Youth Services Manager Tawnya Russel presented a short video on community schools and discussed with both city councils the benefits of a community school located near North Elementary and South Elementary.
A community school, supported by the city of Brighton and school district 27J, could offer another welcoming safe place for students and their families. Brighton families that are in need of help can find resources at the school for health, nutrition, education and other services offered within the city.
City Manager Manuel Esquibel said, “The role the city plays in addressing school issues is by giving support and assistance to schools that need extra help.”
Council members from Commerce City expressed interest in developing their own community schools, hoping to offer the same services and support to their community and will be watching Brighton’s progress with the schools development with interest.