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District ballot decisions due tonight, Thursday

School board members in three large metro-area districts are slated to decide this week whether to put proposals before voters on Nov. 6.

→ Aurora Public Schools board members meet tonight to discuss a $15 million tax increase in additional operating dollars. The increase is designed to recover some of the state funding lost in recent years as lawmakers have cut K-12 spending, according to the district.

According to the proposed ballot question, the increase would be used in the following ways:

  • Recover a portion of reduced state funding for reading, writing, math, science, early childhood education and more public school choices.
  • Recover a portion of reduced state funding for instructional classroom technology,
    equipment and curriculum materials which aid in preparing students for college and
  • Recruit and retain high quality teachers and staff to provide for smaller class sizes,
    increase graduation rates and lower dropout rates.

Tonight’s meeting begins at 6 p.m. in the district’s Educational Services Center, 1085 Peoria St. See the agenda, which includes details about the proposal. It’s projected to cost $68.43 per year for every $100,000 of home value.

→ Douglas County school board members also are scheduled tonight to consider a possible ballot item, though few details are available.

The board on July 26 voted to reserve space on the Nov. 6 ballot but have not publicly discussed what kind of proposal they’re considering. John Carson, the board’s president, has indicated a tax increase is unlikely.

Tonight’s agenda offers no additional information, simply indicating a discussion is scheduled for 8:15 p.m.

According to the agenda, board members will convene in public at 5 p.m. at district headquarters, 620 Wilcox St. in Castle Rock. They’ve scheduled public comment from 5:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. and will then recess into closed session for two hours. The rest of their public agenda begins at 7:30 p.m.

Tonight’s agenda also includes a resolution in support of education funding reform, though the resolution was not yet available this morning, as well as consideration of Monday’s arbitration ruling in the district’s dispute with its teachers union.

→ Denver Public Schools board members are scheduled to decide Thursday on whether to place a $457 million bond issue and a $49 million operating tax increase before voters. The issue has divided board members and some community members, according to previous EdNews stories about a recent school tax community meeting and a recent board school tax discussion.

The cost of the tax proposals for the average Denver homeowner with property valued at $225,000 is $143 annually, or about $90 for operating tax and $54 for bond issue. The two tax questions will be separate on the ballot. Additional information about the proposals as recommended by a citizens advisory committee is available here.

Thursday’s meeting begins at 5 p.m. at district headquarters, 900 Grant St. See the agenda.

School districts are wrapping up ballot plans this week as election deadlines approach. By Aug. 28, districts must sign agreements with their county clerks who are running the elections. And by Sept. 7, districts must submit their ballot language to the clerks. Ballots are to be printed by Oct. 5.

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