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Elections Matter: Exercising Your Rights, Fulfilling Your Responsibility

Elections Matter: Exercising Your Rights, Fulfilling Your Responsibility
Posted on 10/25/2018

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Elections are among the most important aspects of our representative democracy as they are the time when citizens in our community, state, and country make decisions about who will govern and how we work together as a society. Here in Colorado, our state has a strong tradition and state constitutional requirement around direct democracy – where our citizens get to vote directly on key policy issues.

Three important questions related to education are on the ballot this year. Questions 5A and 5B are local measures put forth by the Jeffco Public Schools Board of Education. 5A is a $33 million mill levy override, used for ongoing expenses like paying teachers and staff. 5B is a $567 million bond, used to improve buildings. Also on the ballot is a state constitutional question, Amendment 73, which would add $1.6 billion to education funding statewide.

I am often asked about these three questions and how they interact with each other. In my professional opinion, they serve different purposes. 5A (the mill levy override) brings Jeffco closer to surrounding districts in terms of per pupil dollars. 5B (the bond) improves the quality of our school buildings and facilities. Amendment 73 would raise Colorado’s education funding levels in relation to other states.

All three are also taxes, though they use different mechanisms to raise funds. The local questions, 5A and 5B, are property tax increases. Amendment 73 relies on an income tax on filers making over $150,000 annually and a corporate tax.

As a public employee, I am not able to urge people to vote for or against ballot issues. However, I do feel it is important that our public is informed about the questions before them so they can make an educated decision.

This is an important election on many levels, not the least of which are these three ballot measures which could profoundly impact school funding in Jeffco and in Colorado.

On behalf of Jeffco Public Schools, we are grateful for your support of our students, staff, and schools - in whatever form that may take.

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To learn more about these three funding initiatives, please click the green Future Funding button at the top of this webpage.

Jeffco students, parents, families, staff, and community members may engage with Superintendent Dr. Glass via Twitter - @COJasonGlass - and through his blog.

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