Education

Voters in Colo.'s Largest District Back 1st School-Tax Increase in 7 Years

By Mark Walsh — October 14, 1992 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Voters in Colorado’s largest school district last week approved the first school-tax increase in seven years, a result that proponents of a statewide sales-tax increase for education see as boding well for their November ballot measure.

Jefferson County voters approved a $325 million bond issue for school-facility maintenance and construction. They narrowly rejected, however, an additional $117 million for a second wave of improvements.

The county school system in suburban Denver operates 114 schools with a fast-growing enrollment of 82,000 students.

After four consecutive defeats on property-tax or bond measures since 1985, school administrators structured last week’s bond referendum in a way they hoped would convince voters to approve at least the most urgent maintenance and construction projects, which include plans to repair leaky roofs and deteriorating boiler systems in several schools.

The $325 million bond plan for the most essential projects passed by a margin of 55.5 percent to 45.5 percent, while the proposal for an additional $117 million in improvements lost 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent.

“We will be moving rapidly to take care of the needs in some of our older buildings,’' said Kay Pride, a spokeswoman for the district. “More than 60 percent of our buildings are more than 25 years old.’'

“We will also get almost 700 additional classrooms out of this, which will go a long way toward relieving overcrowding,’' Ms. Pride noted.

Encouraging Sign Seen

The approved bond issue will increase taxes for the owner of a $100,000 house by about $120 per year, officials said.

The bond referendum was vigorously opposed by a taxpayers’ group, which said it would support a $200 million plan but argued that the options put before voters were too costly.

Proponents of the Children First ballot measure, which would increase the state sales tax from 3 cents to 4 cents to provide more money for education and specific reform proposals, had been watching the Jefferson County election closely.

Donna Middlebrooks, a spokeswoman for the group backing the statewide initiative, said that although the Jefferson County proposal focused on a separate issue, she was “cautiously optimistic’’ that voters across the state were ready to support the needs of education in November.

“It’s encouraging to see voters showing further commitment to their children’s education,’' Ms. Middlebrooks said.

Still, a less positive sign for the initiative came last week from neighboring Douglas County, where a $87 million bond proposal for school improvements was defeated by just 35 votes. It the first defeat for a school-tax hike in the county in 33 years.

Because the vote was so close, however, state law requires that the ballots be recounted before results are made official.

A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 1992 edition of Education Week as Voters in Colo.'s Largest District Back 1st School-Tax Increase


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Evaluating Equity to Drive District-Wide Action this School Year
Educational leaders are charged with ensuring all students receive equitable access to a high-quality education. Yet equity is more than an action. It is a lens through which we continuously review instructional practices and student
Content provided by BetterLesson

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP