With voters approving additional funding for Jeffco Schools in the November election, school officials are now starting to make decisions about how those funds will be used.
A community survey is currently available for the community to indicate funding priorities for $33 million in 5A mill levy override funding.
Here’s what else you need to know.
Next steps for 5A
First, the additional $33 million in mill levy override dollars won’t be available to the district until late spring because those funds are collected through property taxes that come due each spring, explained Superintendent Jason Glass in a recent Advance Jeffco blog post.
As a result, school officials are considering some one-time expenses for the 2018-19 year, with on-going expenses budgeted for 2019-20 and beyond. Those funding decisions will be made through the district’s regular budget process, with all final budget decisions approved by the Jeffco School Board.
The first $3 million —10 percent — will be passed through to Jeffco’s charter schools, and the charter school boards will decide how to allocate those funds.
The other $30 million will be allocated as follows:
- $15 million (50 percent) will go toward increasing compensation for teachers and staff (excluding senior district administration, as specified in the ballot language).
- $6 million (20 percent) will be used for safety and security, including additional safety support and mental health support for students. Recent recommendations from the School Safety Task Force will play a significant role in determining how those funds will be spent.
- $3 million (10 percent) will be used to expand career and technical education, including the expansion of Warren Tech programming at a Warren Tech South location and potentially into other existing schools.
- $3 million will be used to improve technology and classroom materials.
- $3 million will be used to expand early childhood education, including expanding district preschool programs.
Next steps for 5B
Money from 5B, the $567 million bond, will be used to fund a six-year program of new construction, renovation and repairs. Glass said the district hopes to structure the bond sale and invest funds so that up to $750 million will ultimately be available for projects. The six-year program will also include money currently budgeted annually for capital projects.
Work on the bond projects is already underway. Glass said the district has already taken care of the requirements to sell Jeffco bonds on the bond market. In addition, the district is in the process of contracting with construction, architecture and engineering companies.
Jeffco will prioritize bond projects in high-growth areas where schools may need an addition, as well as schools with significant capital repair and renovation needs first, Glass said. Other logistical pressures will also impact planning.
“We are also considering which buildings are the most overdue for improvements, the scale (size) of the projects versus available construction services, the complexity of the design and architectural work and if we can bundle projects together that have similar needs,” Glass said.
All final budget and bond project decisions will be discussed and approved by the Jeffco School Board.