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February Update on Board Actions from President Ron Mitchell

February Update on Board Actions from President Ron Mitchell
Posted on 02/26/2018

Board of Education President Ron MitchellDear Jeffco Families,

At our Board of Education meeting on February 1, our Board unanimously approved a resolution to support the efforts of the Colorado Education Network which is a rapidly growing coalition of individuals and organizations that recognize the need to improve funding for K-12 public education in Colorado. This organization intends to promote the understanding that as a state, we need to do a better job of providing adequate and equitable funding for public education.

The first segment of this resolution was written to confirm our societal values regarding the education of our children. Included were statements such as:

  • Our children are the future of our state and the nation.
  • Our children must be prepared to compete in a worldwide market.
  • All students must be provided with high-quality educational opportunities regardless of their background or their socioeconomic status.
  • An educated citizenry is a major foundational cornerstone of our American Democracy

These things support the concept that public education is important to all of us.

The second component of this resolution demonstrates that the state of Colorado continues to fall well behind other states in funding for public education. The facts are as follows:

  • Colorado has fallen well behind the national average in funding. In most recent data, 2014, Colorado was $2,685 per student below the national annual average. We know Colorado has continued to fall behind.
  • Currently, Colorado ranks 47th of the fifty states in K-12 funding.
  • The state’s negative factor has cost Jeffco schools $642 million over the last eight years.
  • When adjusted for inflation, 2017-18 per pupil funding in Jeffco is $934 per student below pre-recession levels.

The impact of state budget cuts over the last eight years makes it very difficult to:

  • Hire and support a highly competent teaching force.
  • Provide equitable funding across all districts in the state of Colorado.
  • Fund research-based improvements (programs, teaching strategies, etc.) for our students.
  • Maintain and improve mental health services and school safety.
  • Ensure that all students leave school ready for success in the 21st century.

The resolution concludes that our state’s future and the future of our students have arrived at a critical juncture right now. Education funding is a state-wide problem, and it is time for a major review of this critical issue. I will keep you updated on strategies to solve this unfortunate problem. I will also update you on any action our Board takes or supports to address these serious funding issues.

Ron Mitchell
Board of Education President

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