The specter of Amendment 61 has Colorado school districts scrambling to figure out their options. Tonight, it’s Douglas County’s turn. School board members must decide whether to prepare a $70 million bond issue for the November ballot – to finance the district’s cash flow if Amendment 61 passes. The proposed amendment would severely curtail a district’s ability to incur debt and it essentially eliminates the state’s interest-free loan program. Districts, funded largely through property taxes, use the program to make ends meet until those dollars can be collected.
Douglas County board members are weighing whether to put a bond issue on the ballot or to have a similar financial instrument, a certificate of participation or COP, ready for issue after 61 passes but before Dec. 31. District staff is recommending the board go the COP route. You can see a slideshow outlining the issue and read the proposed resolution as part of the board’s agenda here. The board meets at Chaparral High School starting at 5 p.m. but they’ve scheduled an executive – or closed – session from 5:10 to 5:55 p.m. You can see a July memo here about 61, as well as Amendment 60 and Proposition 101, prepared by Colorado Legislative Council Staff for state lawmakers.
Meanwhile, put a red X on Sept. 7 if you’re interested in the continuing conversation about the Denver Public Schools pension fund. Members of the Denver school board’s finance and audit committee met Monday and agreed to have a full-blown talk then on questions being asked most loudly by board members Jeanne Kaplan and Andrea Merida. We’ll post the exact time, place and agenda when it’s available.
Quotable: “We crushed it.” — DPS Superintendent Tom Boasberg at Monday’s school board work session. He was referring to preliminary data from the College Board showing a 22 percent increase in the number of DPS students taking Advanced Placement tests in 2009-10, over 2008-09, and a 24 percent increase in those passing the exams, earning college credit.
On tap today:
Aurora Public Schools Board of Education also meets. You can check out their agenda here: A briefing on 2010 CSAP scores is slated.
Good reads from elsewhere:
- Dip and rise: A tale of two school districts north of Denver.
- Peeved parents: NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein and others are heckled off the stage.
- Hands off: For-profit colleges resist stricter oversight.
- Grading teachers: The L.A. Times publishes a major piece on teacher effectiveness.
- Duncan defends Times: L.A.’s union hates the Times report, but Arne Duncan likes it.
- Score bump: L.A. Unified sees a modest rise in test scores.
- Loudmouth leadership: General McChrystal to teach leadership at Yale.
- Turkish ties: Questions arise about charters with ties to Turkish cleric.