My Side |

My Side

The Re-1 school bond of $86 million will provide refurbished and new facilities throughout the district based on critical needs. These needs have been determined through extensive research and community-based forums. This bond addresses safety, sustainability and environment in all the district schools. The mill levy override of $1.8 million will be designated to substantially increase teacher salaries.This bond and mill together will cost $5 for every $100,000 of assessed value. Therefore, an average district home of $400,000 will pay $20 per month – or the cost of a couple of lattes a week. Because of the Gallagher Amendment (out of the control of Re-1), businesses will pay 3.6 times that amount. This law can only be repealed through a change of legislative leadership at the state level.Community members attending the meetings in Glenwood Springs clearly wanted to keep a downtown high school and expand their current location. Other properties out of town had additional expenses of highway lane construction and infrastructure that made their overall purchase costs more expensive. The district therefore put forth a plan for a more urban-looking, multistory high school with parking in relatively the same location away from Grand Avenue. Athletic fields will remain at the middle school. Property owners of six acres adjacent to GSHS were contacted, and they willingly agreed to sell their properties. No further property will be needed. As all of the businesses and homes are rentals, it is up to the property owner to notify their renters of their decision to sell. Unfortunately, renters are always at the mercy of the landowners, but with a surplus of vacant properties in the valley, small businesses are not at a loss for new locations. Aside from the fact that GSHS is currently designed with much smaller classrooms that are “busting at the seams,” the educational environment is in need of restructuring. In short:1. Our schools have critical needs that have to be addressed now. 2. Our teachers need a decent living wage.3. New schools boost property values.4. New schools attract businesses.5. New schools contribute to economic development.6. Improved educational environments increase learning.7. The bond will eliminate disparities between schools in the three communities.8. Improved and new facilities increase student self-esteem.9. It would cost $53 million for a temporary “Band-Aid” to bring district schools up to safety standards.10. Improved facilities produce a better-educated, and therefore better-paid, workforce.11. Improved facilities and increased teacher salaries fulfill part of the community-generated Strategic Plan.12. Waiting to pass the bond and mill will cost taxpayers much more later as interest rates and construction costs will be increased. 13. The $37 million bond in1993 cost $20 per month for a $200,000 home – this bond gives us a much bigger “bang for our buck.”14. Not passing the bond will drain district funds for building repair.15. New schools demonstrate community commitment to education.Please vote “yes” on 3A and 3B.Denise Moss is the co-chairwoman of Citizens for Investing in RFSD Kids.

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