clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Aurora Public Schools going to voters

Aurora Public Schools board members voted 6-1 on Tuesday to place a $15 million operating tax increase before voters on Nov. 6.

According to district leaders, the additional dollars would help offset recent reductions in state education funding. Here’s how the money would be used, according to the resolution approved by board members:

  • Recovering a portion of reduced state funding to be used for reading, writing, math, science, early childhood education and more public school choices;
  • Recovering a portion of reduced state funding to be used for instructional classroom technology, equipment and curriculum materials which aid in preparing students for college and careers;
  • Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff to provide for smaller class sizes, increased graduation rates and lower dropout rates.

See additional details in each area.

District officials estimate the tax question, also known as a mill-levy increase, would cost APS homeowners an additional $5.71 per month – or about $69 per year – for every $100,000 of home value.

Because Aurora property values have declined about 15 percent, the net effect is property taxes would be about the same as they were in 2009, according to a district press release.

Aurora voters last approved an operating tax increase in 2008, when they authorized a $14.7 million increase for initiatives such as Fifth Block, an additional 23 days of instruction for struggling students, and a 2 percent raise for APS staff.

That increase prompted some concern from charter school supporters, who were upset because the ballot plan funded full-day kindergarten in non-charter elementary schools.

With the 2012 question, the district would set aside a portion of the proposed increase for charter schools as well as provide additional dollars for teachers and other staff. Ballot language is due Sept. 7 to elections officials.

See Tuesday’s presentation to APS board members, pages 20-36, and visit the district’s webpage for details of the 2008 mill-levy increase and how those dollars were spent. Superintendent John Barry also issued a message to staff today about the ballot measure.

In addition to Aurora, school boards in Jefferson County, Cherry Creek, St. Vrain and Greeley have approved ballot questions seeking additional operating or building dollars, or both. Denver school board members are expected to decide Thursday whether to place a pair of tax proposals before voters.

More details on Aurora’s proposed operating tax increase

→ Recovering a portion of reduced state funding to be used for reading, writing, math, science, early childhood education and more public school choices:

  • Increase public school choices through charter school support – $1.5 million
  • Restore staffing levels at secondary schools to provide students with more academic choices, and enhance extended learning opportunities to close achievement gaps – $3.7 million
  • Improve early childhood education so students are prepared to meet rigorous learning standards – $3.2 million
  • Reinstate some targeted job-embedded training for staff – $1.2 million

→ Recovering a portion of reduced state funding to be used for instructional classroom technology, equipment and curriculum materials which aid in preparing students for college and careers:

  • Provide funding for technology equipment renewal, which was previously supported by 2008 bond monies – $750,000
  • Reinstate funding for curriculum materials required by the new Colorado State Standards – $1 million

→ Recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and staff to provide for smaller class sizes, increased graduation rates and lower dropout rates

  • Restore funding so APS may competitively recruit and retain high-quality staff; APS has not offered all employees a salary increase in three years – $3.6 million

Source: Aurora Public Schools

Help Chalkbeat raise $80k by Dec 31

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit newsroom filling a vital community need. We could not do this without you, and we need your support to keep going in 2022.

Connect with your community

Find upcoming Colorado events

Sign up for the newsletter Chalkbeat Colorado

Sign up for our newsletter.