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  • Jenna Hays

Vote YES on Amendment 73!!

I believe that I am worth more than $43. It is ridiculous that it's 2018 and the per pupil funding is still averaging around $43 in School District 27j. Our schools are suffering due to underfunding and we cannot get that to change. 27j school resources are terribly outdated, and up until this year, I have been learning information from a textbook that has old material in it. So why are our schools so poor? Because of our community’s decision to not help fund our schools that are in desperate need. So how do we change that? Last year we tried passing the bill 3D that would have approved a mil levy for 27j. That didn’t pass. Because it didn’t pass, we went a four-day school week this year.

This year there is another option that would change the way education is funded across the state.

Amendment 73 would increase education funding across the board, and Brighton would receive roughly an additional $29.5 million dollars a year for our schools. That would be an additional $1,615 per pupil, per year and funding would go to all public schools, including charter schools.

The Mill Levy would have been a local tax that would help finance school district 27j, but this Amendment would mean ongoing funding from the state, which at this point, is a necessity for our completely outdated school district and the education funding crisis across Colorado. Brighton last passed a mil levy in 2000. That means Brighton has gone 18 years without an increase in education funding. Amendment 73 would fix that. I am not even eighteen years old, and there has not been an increase in education funding since BEFORE I was born.

The state has decided that it is time to do something about that. And your vote is needed to make it happen.

Not only is school district 27J funded 15th out of the 15 Denver Metro Area schools, but Colorado as a whole is funded 40th out of the 50 states in per pupil funding. According to Dr. Fiedler, 27J Superintendent, the passing of Amendment 73 would move Colorado “near, but not quite at, the national average on per pupil funding.”

Part of the reason why past mil levies did not pass was because voters were concerned about an increase to their taxes. However, under Amendment 73, 92 percent of Coloradans would pay no new tax increase. It would only increase taxes on individuals who make more than $150,000 per year, and it actually reduces property tax rates (compared to current levels).

Our district has some of the most outstanding staff; however, they are getting paid the least. We are losing fantastic teachers to bigger and better districts because they aren't getting paid enough here. We went to a four-day week in order to retain teachers and save money to purchase new text books and Chromebooks for all secondary students.

This hasn’t changed the fact that there are numerous teachers I know who sometimes pay for certain resources for their students out of pocket. We have some great teachers in 27j that put in as much work and dedication as teachers in any other district.

“We want to be able to retain and attract quality educators here,” said Superintendent Dr. Fiddler. “As beautiful as the new buildings are due to the renovations, they don't really become a school until we put the right people in them to educate kids, keep them there, and provide them with the tools to be successful.”

These great teachers in our district have the right to make as much as all of the other teachers in the state. Their dedication to kids in our district is admirable, and it breaks my heart to see these amazing teachers leave to other districts that are paying more.

We, as state, deserve better. Every student in 27j deserves more. If Amendment 73 passes, it would make a drastic change in our schools. Every student deserves the chance for a great education. In Brighton we do really well with what we have, but imagine what we could accomplish if we had the proper resources. We all know what a great state Colorado is, but our education funding doesn’t show that. We need to put our education funding as a priority in the state. Amendment 73 does that.

I am worth more than $43. We all are.

Tell everyone we are worth more, and tell them to Vote Yes for Amendment 73.

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