D60 school board considers asking voters to approve mill levy override

Posted at 8:35 PM, May 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-22 22:35:19-04

At the Pueblo D60 school board meeting Tuesday night, the district announced it is considering asking voters to approve more funding for the district.

In D60’s first regularly scheduled meeting since the end of the teacher strike, the district announced it commissioned a study asking a sample of voters if they would support a mill levy override.

Results from that survey showed 70 percent of the 400 voters sampled said they would either definitely or probably vote yes. That figure has a margin or error of approximately 4.9 percent and was conducted prior to the strike.

The property tax increase would provide the district an extra $6 million annually and cost residents about $44 each year for a property valued at $100,000.

"It should build on what we saw in the last several weeks. The support for our employees, for our students from our community," said D60 School Board President Barb Clementi. "A mill levy override gives the community an opportunity to take responsibility for educating our kids."

The news about the ballot question comes as the district announced it is cutting 50 positions next school year through retirement and not renewing contracts to boost revenue and cut expenses.

The hypothetical ballot question would increase funding for teacher pay, school maintenance, school security and mental health resources.

The district hired Keating Research to conduct the study on a mill levy question, which presented its findings in front of the board Tuesday. Dr. Chris Keating, the research director for the company, said the district should put the question in front of the voters because of four main factors:

  • Support has increased since Nov. 2017
  • Support from political party aligns with demographics
  • Homeowners strongly support it
  • No difference in level of support based on income/education of viewers

The district stressed that it is merely looking into the possibility of asking voters to approve the measure, but the school board expressed optimism about the results.

View the full survey below: