Question from the student-led forum: Given the current situation in the district regarding buses, infrastructure needs, compensation, and operating budgets, what is your fiscal plan for the next several years?
The root cause of all of these challenges ties back to the school funding crisis we have in Colorado. Our school funding ranks as one of the lowest in the nation. And yes, funding matters if we want to:
- Decrease class sizes
- Pay teachers more
- Attract bus drivers and pay for buses
- Pay for building maintenance needs
- And the list goes on.
If the state were fully meeting its funding obligation to DCSD, we would have $41 million more through the School Finance Act. And since cuts were first made at the state level in 2009-10, DCSD has lost nearly $600 M in funding. ($585M)
What is my plan?
- Work with the Superintendent to understand the funding priorities and needs based on the new strategic plan.
- Ensure that our funding priorities reflect the community’s input (student, teachers, parents, businesses, etc).
- Advocate at the state level for adequate, equitable and sustainable funding for our schools.
- Advocate at the federal level. Congress has never fully funded the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The federal law offers current federal funding of 16-17% of the actual cost. It is time we advocate to get to the 40% standard set by the initial legislation!
As a school board member, I will rely on my extensive history of advocating for our public schools, of bringing together diverse organizations and forming strong coalitions to move our district forward.
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