Douglas County school board members have scheduled back-to-back meetings today and tomorrow as they decide whether to ask voters for operating and building tax increases on Nov. 1.
Tonight’s meeting agenda calls for public comment, a discussion of the tax questions and then a closed-door session for members only. Tomorrow’s meeting agenda includes a vote on a tax hike for operating dollars and a vote on a bond issue for, among other projects, new schools and additions in Parker and Castle Rock. Agendas.
That’s according to a presentation from Superintendent Elizabeth Fagen at the board’s Aug. 16 meeting. The actual ballot questions that board members will vote on Tuesday are not yet attached to either agenda.
Board members are expected to approve requests for both tax increases. At the Aug. 16 meeting, they heard a presentation from investment bank RBC Capital Markets about a projected decline in school tax bills for Douglas County residents – though, as some board members wryly pointed out, that’s because residential home values have decreased. See the RBC presentation.
Fagen, in her presentation, said without the tax increases, the district will have to institute furlough days for employees and cut budgets to schools by $200 per student. Overall, $10 million would have to be cut from the 2011-12 budget. See Fagen’s presentation.
Dougco school board members have been talking about asking voters for more money since at least March, when district leaders unveiled two budgets for 2011-12. One, the “blue” budget, called for more severe cuts and was intended for use if the district chose not to seek tax help. The alternative, the “black” budget, called for lesser cuts and the use of more reserve funds as a one-time option to get the district through the school year. See the EdNews story.
Fagen said the district will have to “return to the blue budget” if they decide against asking voters for more money.
School districts across Colorado have until week’s end to decide ballot content – the exact phrasing of any tax questions they’re placing before voters on Nov. 1.
What’s on tap:
The Lobato v. State trial enters what is expected to be its final week in courtroom 424 of the Denver City and County Building.
Witnesses today are expected to include State Board of Education members Marcia Neal and Elaine Gantz Berman, former school finance chief Vody Herrmann, CDE construction staffer Ted Hughes for the state, with Stanford education professor Linda-Darling Hammond making a return appearance as a rebuttal witness for the plaintiffs.
Catch up on coverage you may have missed in the EdNews archive of Lobato stories.
The Educational Success Task Force, a legislative/citizen committee assigned to study such issues as college remediation rates, holds its first meeting starting at 1 p.m. in the boardroom at the Department of Education, 201 E. Colfax Ave. Committee website & agenda
Staff members of the Legislative Council will hold a meeting on draft blue book language for Proposition 103, the proposed tax increase to fund schools. The meeting will start at 9:30 a.m., in Senate Committee Room 353 of the Capitol. No public comment will be taken. Read draft
The University of Denver’s Center for Colorado’s Economic Future will present the second installment of its study of Colorado’s state and local tax systems, including recommendations. The session will be at 10:30 a.m. in the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management building on the DU campus. See this EdNews story for details on the report’s first installment, issued last February.
Denver Public Schools is hosting a coffee for parents of special education students from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. at 1330 Fox Street in Denver. More info.
Jefferson County school board members hold their first regular meeting of the new school year at 6 p.m., district headquarters, 1829 Denver West Drive in Golden. Agenda.