It's been 21 years since Widefield School District went to taxpayers and asked for money. At that time our district was bursting at the seams with new growth. Voters supported the district's need for a new high school, Mesa Ridge High School. The new school helped relieve an abundance of facility and classroom issues creating a more comfortable and positive learning environment for students. The $20 million bond at that time also helped with various other facility projects around the district.
MILL LEVY 2002
It's been 15 years since we've asked voters to approve a mill levy in Widefield School District. In 2002, a $3.95 million mill levy was passed to attract and retain quality teachers and staff, and to create and expand programs for students.
The district prides itself on being financially responsible. We only ask taxpayers for help when its truly needed. Up until now, Widefield School District has been able to use grants, partnerships, and reserves to fund major projects such as the building of our transportation center, the remodel of King Elementary, and repurposing of North Elementary into a thriving preschool program. We've been able to create unique career pathways to include engineering, cyber security, and manufacturing. Everything we have done has been to help students succeed.
STATE FUNDING CRISIS
With the continued state funding cuts, our school district will not be able to continue to maintain the standard of education that your students deserve. The state has cut our school district alone a total of $62 million dollars since 2009. This year that amount is $8.3 million. With no solution in sight, despite numerous attempts by Colorado superintendents and educational leaders, we have to turn to our local taxpayers for help. For more details on school district budget cuts and school finance visit: Colorado School Finance Project or Great Education Colorado.
The board of education approved two ballot questions, 3A & 3B, regarding a Mill Levy Override and Bond.
BOND - The $49.5 million bond would be used to build a new pre-K through 8 school in the eastern part of our school district, make critical repairs to current school buildings, reduce the amount of portable classrooms, and provide upgrades to transportation and technology.
MILL - The $3.5 million mill levy override would be used to provide competitive pay to attract and retain quality teachers and maintain educational programs like our award-winning music and arts, engineering and biomedical sciences, and other career pathways. Both the bond and mill levy will cost homeowners $9.25 a month, per $100,000 of property value.