Thursday, October 4, 2012

Colorado Schools Ask Voters for a Billion

In spite of a slow recovery and a poor national image from labor strikes and weak performance, local Colorado school districts are feeling confident enough to ask for a billion dollars of new revenue.
Denver has the largest request for a $466 million capital program and a $49 million annual override.  It argues that growth and deteriorated facilities require the expansions and upgrades.  They cite a need to replace lost state funding as justifying the revenue increases.
Denver fights, and often wins, a regular battle to reform its program against the forces of the status quo.  A divided board vote on the package signaled that the difference of opinion over reform is likely to affect the bond and override election.
More than 20 districts have requests.  Pueblo County tried last year and was defeated.
Recent years has not been supportive of tax and school funding increases, but some districts feel local support will overcome macro issues of the weak economy or national public education’s poor image.

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