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Douglas County school board places $66M mill levy override, $484M bond measure on November ballot

Douglas County School District
Posted at 10:11 PM, Aug 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-09 00:15:07-04

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education unanimously voted Tuesday to place a $66 million mill levy override (MLO) and $484 million bond measure on the November 2023 ballot.

If approved, Douglas County homeowners would pay $20 per year per $100,000 home value, the school district said in a release. For example, homeowners with a residence valued at $1,000,000 would pay roughly $200 more if both measures are approved.

“The future of Douglas County is literally sitting in the classrooms today. You may have heard that the Douglas County School District is the engine that drives our county. Help us supercharge that engine,” said Board of Education President Mike Peterson in a statement. “We are moving from our funding needs being in an urgent state last year, to a critical state this year.”

Under the MLO resolution, staff members would see a pay increase of seven to nine percent depending on their position. According to the district, the average teacher salary as it stands is roughly $19,000 less than Cherry Creek School District and $15,000 less than Littleton Public Schools.

MLO spending changes

Six million dollars from the MLO override would be used to "increase and maintain school security support, such as School Resource Officers (SROs)," according to DCSD.

Fifteen million dollars from the bond, if approved, would support school safety and security upgrades, the school district said. The remaining $469 million would be used for school construction and upkeep, career and technical education, special education, information technology (IT) and athletics and activities.

DCSD bond breakdown

The bond would fund the construction of three new elementary schools — one in the Crystal Valley development in Castle Rock, the second in The Canyons development in Castle Pines and the third in the Sterling Ranch development near Highlands Ranch. The school district would also expand Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock and Sierra Middle School in Parker.

This is not the first time the school board has tried to pass school funding measures. In August 2022, the board voted unanimously to place a $60 million mill levy override and $450 million bond measure on the November 2022 ballot. Douglas County voters rejected both measures.

Denver7 Morning Anchor Nicole Brady sat down with Douglas County School District Superintendent Erin Kane in February to talk about how the district is starting to plan for long-term challenges, including recruitment challenges and declining enrollment. You can watch that interview here.

To learn more about the MLO and bond, click here.

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