In a press release on Wednesday, the Town of Castle Rock announced its support of two school funding ballot measures.
According to the release, the council voted on Sept. 19 to support the measures that will “benefit every student, family and staff member – and the entire Douglas County community.”
Ballots for the Nov. 7 election will be sent to residents starting on Oct. 16. On the 2023 ballot, the Dougals County School District is asking voters to approve measures 5A, a mill levy override, and 5B, a bond issue.
The Castle Rock Council voted 5-2 to support both ballot measures. Voting in favor of the endorsement were Mayor Jason Gray, Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bracken and Councilmembers Ryan Hollingshead, Desiree LaFleur and Tim Dietz. Council members Laura Cavey and Max Brooks voted against it.
The resolution approved by the council said, “Unlike neighboring school districts, the Douglas County School District … receives substantially less Mill Levy Override funding than it is allowed to receive under state law, resulting in a local funding gap that has significantly and negatively impacted the district’s ability to offer competitive wages to all of its staff and teachers; … by approving an annual increase in the District’s Mill Levy Override of $66 million, voters would enable the District to use $60 million to make compensation more competitive for District teachers and staff … the District has committed to using the remaining $6 million of the Mill Levy Override to increase security support for the District’s schools.”
With regard to the Bond Issue, the resolution went on to say: “It is our collective responsibility, as a community, to build and maintain schools through local taxes … and, as such (the School District), is seeking the authority to issue $484 million in District bonds … (which) will also be used to fund the construction of three new neighborhood schools,” including one in Castle Rock’s Crystal Valley area, per School District materials on the topic. “Remaining Bond proceeds will be used by the District to make school safety and security upgrades, provide career and technical education opportunities for students, and update, maintain, equip, and replace education facilities to provide safe and adequate learning spaces for students and staff, and to reduce overcrowding.”