St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J Ballot Issue 3A: Yes on Mill Levy Override


St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J Ballot Issue No. 3A

$14.8 million mill levy override to mitigate state funding cuts



Colorado’s state budget has been, despite
the protections TABOR was meant to protect, chipping away at our
schools. The state ranks 43rd in the nation for per-pupil dollars
available, and in the St. Vrain Valley School District, despite passing a
mill levy in 2008 to increase funding, per-pupil dollars today are
lower than they were the year after that override was passed.

belts are already notched down for St. Vrain, which includes Longmont,
Niwot, Lyons, Frederick and much of Erie. The 4,000-employee district
spends less than 3 percent of its budget on administration, when
typically, a district of that size spends 8 percent to 10 percent of the
annual budget on administration, according to Chris Barge of the
Community Foundation, which has come out in support of the measure.

measure 3A, a mill levy override, provides some $14.8 million to the
district (after it has absorbed $16.8 million in permanent cuts). That
money will stay in local schools and provide funding to keep class sizes
small, recruit qualified teachers and maintain full-day pre-school and
kindergarten programs — where payoff is highest. Studies show each
dollar invested in early education saves taxpayers $8 to $17 dollars
down the road, Barge says.

it does not pass, what’s going to happen is you’re going to start
feeling cuts at the classroom level,” Barge says. “They’ve been cutting
and cutting and cutting in ways that have been the least visible to

The mill levy override’s impact is $4.16 per month per $100,000 of a home’s market value.

it’s not a lost cause. The district has improved its third grade
reading scores from 78 percent to 81 percent between 2009 and 2012, seen
increases in CSAP and ACT scores and increased the overall graduation
rate by 4.5 percent.

Even after it passes, the district’s budget will be about $25 million less than neighboring Boulder Valley School District.

Vote yes on 3A to give kids in this district a better shot at catching up before it actually costs more to keep them on track.