Please Vote Yes on 5A and 5B
The $60 million MLO will help DCSD pay teachers, bus drivers and other staff more competitively.
The $450 million bond will enable us to build three new elementary schools in high growth areas including Sterling Ranch, Crystal Calley and The Canyons. In addition, we will be able to expand two middle schools, Sierra Middle School and Mesa Middle School, to reduce overcrowding. The bond is also the source of ongoing capital maintenance projects. The District’s 111 buildings (of which 89 are schools) currently cost $30-35 million per year to maintain. The bond will allow security updatese, technology refreshes and other improvements to keep our school environments well-maintained and secure.
Right now, the average DCSD teacher salary is $18,000 lower than neighboring districts like Cherry Creek. An educational assistant earns $13.62/hour (and the starting salary at Chick Fil A is now $19.00 an hour.)
Yet Douglas County is one of the most expensive areas to live in Colorado. We want the employees of our largest employer, the school district, to work, live, and thrive here.
The Mill Levy Override is a fixed dollar amount: $60 million. Many people care concerned about higher property taxes due to higher current assessments. Since the MLO is a fixed dollar amount, not a percentage, it does not increase when valuations increase. In fact, as more businesses and homes are built in Douglas County, your mill levy rate will decline over time.
The District has not built a new school since 2010, yet more than 70,000 people have moved into the area since then.
DCSD is 2/3 the size of Rhode Island. In some areas, student enrollment is declining as residents age in place. However, in other areas like Sterling Ranch, The Canyons and Crystal Valley, growth is intense.
In addition to the advantages new schools and updates of existing infrastructure provide for the school district, the bond is also an investment into our local community. Local jobs, businesses and tax revenue benefit.
Because previous bonds are being retired, the new bond won’t change the existing mill. (If the bond does not pass, taxpayers will realize $10-40 savings, on average, per year.)
A bond will enable a fiscally prudent approach to manage the district’s changing demographics and competitive landscape. DCSD will be able to build new elementary neighborhood schools for high growth areas; expand overcrowded middle schools without building new structures; and address expected overall District changes in other areas via an ongoing three-to-five year strategic plan.
Want to learn more? Browse our overview below. More detailed information can be found on the District website, including a salary schedule detailing what licensed staff can expect to earn if the MLO passes and a detailed bond project list for each school.