Where students learn matters. In Colorado, without adequate state funding, school districts are on their own to provide and maintain the schools where students and teachers do their essential work everyday. This fall Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) is asking our community to invest in improving schools across the district. The only way for BVSD to address the critical needs included in ballot measure 5A is by asking our taxpayers — our community — for help.
The $350 million property tax increase asks property owners to invest approximately $118 per year, or $9.83 a month, for each $600,000 of home value. While the ballot is crowded with tax measures this year, it’s important to support ballot issue 5A this year because our buildings are aging and require immediate maintenance to extend their useful life, and new home construction at the northeastern edge of our district will lead to overcrowded and inequitable classrooms if we fail to act.
Perhaps the most exciting projects included in measure 5A, however, are the proposed investments that will provide BVSD students with quality skills-based learning experiences. The Boulder Chamber identified workforce development as a priority need for local employers and BVSD’s Facilities Critical Needs Plan would include renovating our middle and high schools to offer innovative classrooms and learning laboratories that will ensure our graduates are equipped for postsecondary success.
What’s included in Ballot Measure 5A
Renovating buildings to better prepare students for their futures – 15%
BVSD is ready to transform the student experience in college and career preparedness. Proposed renovations at PK-8, middle, and high schools will expand or create flexible, agile spaces where students can experience industry-inspired environments with the latest equipment, helping them acquire valuable technical skills along with the real-world, hands-on experiences that lead to high-wage and high-growth jobs that are in high demand. Allowing students to build their own path to success is important, and GradPlus enables a skills-based curriculum where students don’t have to choose between learning a skilled trade or further academic pursuits.
Critical maintenance, facility improvements, rebuilding New Vista High – 68.9%
Measure 5A also represents the District’s highest priority building needs that must be addressed in the next four years in order to optimize taxpayer investments. Nearly 60% of the buildings in BVSD are over 40 years old and the cost of current critical building needs, recommended by the Capital Improvement Plan Review Committee, will only increase if the measure does not pass. Plans also call for the 70-year old New Vista High School building to be replaced.
Relieving overcrowding in schools – 13.8%
The only BVSD school in Erie, Meadowlark PK-8, is at 100% capacity in grades PK-5. Development that’s already under construction in the area requires a plan to address enrollment growth before it’s a crisis. Building a second elementary school in Erie will accommodate new students and relieve overcrowding in other district schools, which leads to inequitable classrooms and learning experiences.
Improving ADA access on playgrounds – 2.3%
So that students of all physical abilities can benefit from play and exercise, playground mulch on a number of elementary playgrounds would be replaced with rubberized solid surfaces that are wheelchair friendly.
Vote yes on 5A
Public schools are a pillar of local cities and towns, providing an important thread in the social fabric of our community. It’s difficult to imagine our neighborhoods without their local schools – critical infrastructure that enables learning, social connections, and student growth and achievement to take place. In order to positively impact our economy and community we must educate our youth, facilitate avenues for careers, and provide safe facilities for learning.
Voting yes on 5A is a vote for public education.
BEFORE YOU GO …
Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.