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Tuesday Churn: Budget, budget, budget

What’s churning:

Surveys of parents, teachers and community members in the Adams 12 Five Star District show distinct differences in support for raising local and state taxes to offset $30 million in budget cuts in 2011-12. But all three groups were more favorable on a local tax increase than a statewide hike.
Among more than 4,400 community members – mostly parents – surveyed in the state’s fifth-largest school district, 54 percent said they would support a local increase compared to 48 percent for a statewide increase. A survey of more than 600 parents alone put their support at 46 percent for a local increase, though another 26 percent said they would “somewhat” support it.
Those numbers spike when the question is put to more than 1,500 certified staff members, mostly teachers – 85 percent would support a local tax increase and 77 percent would support a statewide hike.

Check out the survey results here, and expect such surveys among school districts statewide as they grapple with a proposed $332 million cut in K-12 funding for the coming school year. Several districts are mulling potential tax ballot questions for November, including Douglas County.

Jefferson County, the state’s largest school district, begins that public conversation tonight with a panel discussion titled Standing Together for Jeffco’s Future – Economics & Education, starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Lakewood High School auditorium, 9700 West Eighth Avenue. Carol Hedges, director of the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, will provide “insight into the fairness, efficiency and adequacy of spending and taxation in Colorado” and panelists will include former Sen. Norma Anderson, R- Lakewood, who became expert in education funding during a 19-year legislative career.

Meanwhile, the committee funding the recall effort against Denver school board president Nate Easley has filed its first financial disclosure report, listing zero contributions, expenditures or loans. The committee supporting Easley has raised more than $16,000. Read our story about the financial filings.

What’s on tap:

Padres y Jovenes Unidos and representatives of other community and education groups will hold a news conference at 11:45 a.m. to discuss their concerns about school discipline and to support Senate Bill 11-133, which would have the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice study the issue. The bill is on today’s calendar for the Senate Judiciary Committee. The news conference will be in the west foyer of the Capitol.

The University of Colorado Board of Regents hold an executive session at 5 p.m. to consider a property issue and are expected to hold a public session after that to discuss a resolution on an Anschutz Medical Campus property matter. The meeting will be held at 1800 Grant St., Astronauts Conference Room, 8th floor.

Aurora school board executive session to discuss the budget and negotiations with employees, 5 to 6 p.m. at the Professional Learning Conference Center, 15771 E. 1st Ave., followed by a board workshop from 6 to 8 p.m. to discuss community engagement, the superintendent’s evaluation and more. Agenda.

The Boulder Valley school board meets at 6 p.m. 6500 Arapahoe St., Boulder. Agenda.

Good reads from elsewhere:

Pay for performance? Study finds NYC experiment in teacher merit pay did not improve achievement.
DPS pension: Board members weigh risks and costs in preparing for next week’s restructuring vote. Denver Post.

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