- “How can I be assured the District will spend the money wisely?” TSD has recently been awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) for its comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). This was the twenty-seventh time the District has received this prestigious award and the nineteenth consecutive year. The District also received the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for the eighteenth consecutive year. TSD has formed citizen oversight committees to effectively monitor past bonds and MLO programs, in addition to other district finances. Money collected from a bond or MLO stays in the district to be controlled locally. TSD also has a very robust financial transparency webpage (http://thompson.k12.co.us/Page/1029) that provides a tremendous amount of financial information on all of the district's finances.
- “How can I be assured that this money won't just go to administration costs?” Both a bond issue (which CANNOT, by law, be used for operational salaries and benefits) and an MLO will have a detailed expenditure plan that is transparent to the public and details all expenditures. This process allows taxpayers to confirm the restriction on administration costs.
- “What is the difference between a bond issue and a mill levy override (MLO)?” Bond issues may only be used for capital projects such as new schools and major facility improvements and upgrades. MLO's can be used for any legal purpose including capital purchases and/or operating costs such as staff compensation, utilities or supplies and bus replacement.
- “How will the decision be made regarding what will be included in a bond issue or MLO?” Stakeholders made their recommendations to the TSD Board of Education (BOE) throughout the spring and summer in the form of personal correspondence and public comment at regular meetings, just as United for Thompson, a citizen-led exploratory committee, did in March. The Board of Education then officially voted on the ballot language for both the bond issue and MLO on August 24, 2016. As of September 13, 2016, the MLO has been assigned the ballot number of 3D and the bond has been assigned the ballot number of 3E.
- The 3D-MLO language can be found here: http://thompson.k12.co.us/cms/lib07/CO01900772/Centricity/Domain/4/Nov%202016%20MLO%20Ballot%20Issue.pdf
- The 3E-bond laungauge can be found here: http://thompson.k12.co.us/cms/lib07/CO01900772/Centricity/Domain/4/Nov%202016%20Bond%20Question.pdf. However, it is anticipated that stakeholders will continue to make their recommendations to the TSD Board of Education (BOE) in the form of personal correspondence and public comment at regular meetings, just as United for Thompson, a citizen-led exploratory committee, did in March.
- “When will the BOE decide what, if any, type of initiatives they want on the ballot?” The BOE adopted the ballot questions and the official language on August 24, 2016 after the MPC community forums were held in April, community surveys were sent out earlier this past spring, subsequent analysis of received responses were shared, and adequate time was allowed for the BOE to become familiar and informed about the issues and "Thompson Reinvented".
- “I understand the District passed a bond issue in 2005 and an MLO in 1999 and 2006. Why is there still a problem with our facilities?” The District's buildings, technology, and vehicles continue to age each year and the available state funding can't keep up with annual maintenance and replacement costs. In the eleven years since the last bond issue, the District has lost significant ground in terms of maintaining and improving our school facilities due to increasing costs and decreasing funding. The MLO reserves were exhausted in 2011-12 and were utilized to restore 54 full-time teacher positions as well as staff the new schools funded by the previous year's bond issue, in addition to addressing other needs such as support staff, instructional coaches, and technology. Unfortunately, state budget cuts to TSD more than offset the funding from the 2006 MLO. In addition, the 1999 MLO is capped at $7.5 million collected and the 2006 MLO is capped at 4.15 mills or $6.54 million. This funding loses ground to inflation every year, despite the 16.2% increased assessor's actual valuation in our district over the last year. Add to this the fact that the Colorado School Finance Act funding has created cuts of over $84 million to TSD since 2010 due to the negative factor.
- “How do we know what portion of an MLO will come to ‘my school’?” Since the District has lost significant funding, there has been significantly reduced resource allocation at every TSD school, with variations at primary and secondary levels as determined by the BOE. Conversely, additional funds collected via a local MLO will be applied to every school. Funding from the MLO will help to restore lost programs in addition to outdated curriculum and buses in desperate need of replacement. It is within the authority of each school principal to decide how the additional resources received from an MLO will be applied in your school.
- “When will we see the effect of an MLO and/or bond once it is passed?” If an MLO and/or Bond is passed in November 2016, it will be reflected on the 2016 property taxes payable in 2017. However, MLO and/or Bond funds will be available to schools in January 2017 because the state will provide the District with a no-interest loan against the future collection of local property taxes. In fact, all schools in Colorado are funded via no-interest state loans until actual property taxes are collected in the spring. Staffing additions, program adjustments and technology improvements may begin in January. In addition to the immediate relief our schools will see once these projects begin, our local economy will also experience an infusion of revenue as construction materials are procured, contractors employ workers, and those same workers spend their paychecks on consumable goods and entertainment. It's a win-win for our entire community.
- “How will businesses and commercial properties in the TSD area be impacted once the mill and bond pass?” The Gallagher amendment requires a 45-55% split among residential and non-residential property such that 7.96% of the taxable value is subject to tax for residential property and 29% of the taxable value is subject to tax for non-residential. These values are not codified in the amendment but are instead the effect of the 45-55% balance prescribed. So, the shorthand is to take the value for residential and multiply by 3.64. This is not different regardless of company size. You can find more information about this process at the following Colorado Department of Education (CDE) link: https://www.cde.state.co.us/sites/default/files/documents/cdelib/librarydevelopment/publiclibraries/librarydistrictinformation/download/pdf/gallagheramendmentquestions.pdf
- “What will an annual investment for average homeowners in the TSD area be once the mill and bond pass?” If an MLO and/or bond is passed in November 2016, its very easy to determine what your household investment will be per the Thompson School District (http://www.thompsonschools.org/thompsonreinvented).
An $11 million Mill Levy Override. The proceeds generated would be used to fund salary competitiveness to help narrow the 14% salary gap that exists between TSD and its closest neighbors, address school bus fleet needs and provide further educational program support (math, literacy, etc.) with a per-pupil share to the district's two charter schools. 3D, the mill levy override would equate to an estimated increase of 6.5 mills based on 2016 assessor's actual valuations, which would translate to an estimated amount of $4.31 per month per $100,000 of residential value.
A $288 million bond. The proceeds generated would be used to address facility needs, that would equate to an estimated increase of 9.04 mills for the bond redemption based on 2016 assessor's actual valuations, which would translate to an estimated amount of $6.00 per month per $100,000 of residential value.
- “Are the bond and MLO considered budget creep?” No, TSD has lost 12% annually, or $14,200,000 in state funding over the last 4 years while it is anticipated that the student population will increase by nearly 1,800 within the next decade. To compensate for the cuts, the District has been spending down the budget reserves to protect classrooms. The deficit budget is under control because the District knows exactly what is committed from reserves each year, so that when reserves do run out (2-3 years from now), they can balance the budget. TSD staff compensation remains below our neighbors and competitors in Poudre and St. Vrain and educators are not being replaced for attrition, thereby requiring increases in class sizes at all grade levels in some cases.
- Per CDE (Colorado Department of Education) reports, 84.5% of the TSD budget is personnel cost and 83% of that includes instructional expenses.
- “Do charter schools receive funds from an MLO?” Yes, charter schools would receive a portion of the MLO collectively, which is determined by law and based on the percentage of students currently enrolled in charter schools within the District. The actual funding would be based on the October 2016 student count. In future years, only charter schools in operation at the time of the MLO approval would be included in MLO fund allocation to charter schools.
Community Values addressed in “Thompson Reinvented”
- Berthoud is growing, but most of the schools have some room. TSD acquired land next to Berthoud High School so it can handle future growth without having to move.
- Berthoud Elementary School is maxed out now, with new housing planned very close by.
- Berthoud High School is the only school without access to an indoor pool.
- We used to require students to pass a swimming test to graduate, but Berthoud High School didn’t have a pool, so it was unfair. Adding a pool in Berthoud would allow that swimming requirement to come back, which saves lives (especially in an area where there are so many lakes).
- 11 schools enrolled with fewer than 300 students; some were built to serve as few as 280.
- 5 schools are closed to open enrollment due to overcrowding.
- Loveland High School is over capacity, over 50 years old, and located on 28 landlocked acres.
- 1,811 resident students attend public school in other districts, up 800 in the past 10 years.
- $12,690,000 annual Per Pupil Revenue is lost to enrollment in other districts ($7,050/pupil).
- 36 buses are past due for replacement at 20 years of age or older.
- $14,200,000 is the annual cut to Thompson schools since 2012, part of the $833,000,000 annual cut (“Negative Factor”) to the Colorado state funding formula for education.
- Marijuana tax revenues for school facilities statewide were $40,000,000 last year (via BEST grants); TSD needs alone are almost twice that amount.
- Over 24,000 new housing units are approved for construction within our school district.
- Enormous residential growth is eclipsing available classroom space - encouraging migration of students, and funding, to neighboring district schools.
- Thompson services 362 square miles in Larimer, Weld and Boulder Counties, and includes the City of Loveland, the Town of Berthoud, and portions of Fort Collins, Windsor and Johnstown.
- There are approximately 1,134 teachers and teacher aides, 688 support staff, 48 principals and assistant principals, and 15 district administrators.
- Thompson School District salaries average about 14% less than our neighbor school districts.
- Thompson School District mill levies (school taxes) are about 30% below neighbor school districts.
- Over 16,000 students in aging facilities built +40 years ago.
- Below-average per-pupil funding: Colorado currently spends around $2000 less than the national average and is ranked 43rd while TSD is nearly $4000 below the national average.
- Local property taxes are nearly half the national average - 0.655% vs. 1.211% as percent of home price.
- Residential property values are rising throughout Larimer County, 15.2% in 2015, with an additional 4.2% predicted for 2016. Despite the School Finance Act that intended to increase K-12 state funding if local funds increased, the “Negative Factor” mechanism will instead divert those additional funds into other parts of the state budget or be issued as rebates.
- Current mill rates are far below neighboring school districts, 38 mills in TSD vs. 52 mills in PSD. Rates have dropped by nearly 40% in the past 10 years. In 2016 we are around 5 mills below what our rate was in 2007.
- Building new schools and remodeling schools is not just about growth. The very structure of a school impacts how we educate. In the 1970’s when we built many of our current schools, the idea was to create small schools with small classrooms. In one or two cases, we built “open” formats to facilitate team-teaching. We have abandoned that experiment. The small school/small classroom mindset was to bind the hands of future boards to prevent them from overcrowding class-sizes. But the class space is so limited that 25 students can only use them by sitting in the rows they were designed for. Project-based learning needs open space and storage. Look at High Plains - a better mindset is in the structure and it will affect learning for the better.
- HVAC upgrades will take place in the first 3-4 years of the projects across the entire district. Every building will have HVAC updates, efficiency and improvements based on the condition of systems (sites in better condition will get work later, sites in critical need will get help first).
- Collaboration: collective responsibility for the success of all students as they move from primary to intermediate to middle level grades. The structure of a K-8 school enhances teacher collaboration and articulation within and across grade levels. Teachers collaborate to plan an integrated curriculum that connects learning across a wider range of disciplines and/or grade levels.
- Student Achievement & Responsive Instruction: this structure supports high levels of student achievement and allows for flexible educational opportunities within and across grade levels. In addition to core classes, students have opportunities for enrichment and intervention.
- Fewer Grade Transitions: Reduces the number of transitions a student experiences during their K-12 school career. This reduction in transitions supports students by helping them develop long-term relationships with peers and adults. The transition between elementary and middle school is smoother because students can focus on learning instead of learning new building layouts, practices and procedures, and staff.
- Relationships: A K-8 school supports the development of the whole child by fostering academic achievement and social/emotional well-being. Students, teachers, staff, and families are likely to build and maintain strong relationships over the course of nine years.
- Modeling and Mentoring: A K-8 structure allows elementary and middle school students to interact and engage through positive experiences that foster leadership abilities in students and develop a shared ownership and responsibility to each other.
- Family Involvement: A K-8 environment supports a common purpose and safe environment. Parents and community members stay involved in a K-8 school. The nine-year program supports the development of lasting relationships among students, staff, parents, and community members.
LOVELAND HIGH SCHOOL
- Loveland High School is the oldest high school we have, it's too small and it's out of date. The current campus cannot add the sports facilities needed to be a competitive high school and the parking lot is overflowing. The building has no AC and the floors are asbestos tile. Adding onto Loveland High School is not very feasible (it can be done, but the drawbacks are huge). But remodeled, it would be amazing for K-8 students. Building a new Loveland High School in the north will intercept the high number of students going up 287 to attend new, better equipped high schools in Fort Collins.
- Loveland High School is also the only over-enrolled high school. A business mindset knows that if your best seller is maxed, sell more of that!
- “Why not just move boundaries and bus kids where we have room?” This is what we do now. Kids from Steeplechase near Windsor may ride over 45 minutes to get to Winona. If we can’t reinvent our District as proposed in "Thompson Reinvented", we will likely have to move boundaries. But choice drastically limits what we can do with boundaries. Moving school attendance areas can be helpful in some cases, but the growth is happening far away form the buildings we have, so it doesn't fix the problem. We have tried this solution for decades, to just bus kids to the older school sites and the out-of-district enrollment continues to grow where students live close to neighborhing school districts.
- “The square foot cost right now for new school construction is around $400. Is that for real?” That is a conservative cost, but one we can use to assure we can build with quality. High Plains jumped from $180 to $260 per square foot in one year - and that was a year ago.
- If we sell Ferguson and possibly Truscott and even Lincoln, the revenue could help finance the $40 million needed to bring AC to the rest of the schools.
- The scorecards show $72 million in needs. The state provides $0 in Capital Reserve funding, meaning we are on our own. A maintenance bond can secure our schools against the state funding failures for the future. If we pass a bond to address these needs, we may be able to liberate $2 million from the general fund. A 1% salary increase is $840,000. So a successful bond can help free up money to pay our teachers.
- 1,800 students are leaving. If we could recoup 1,000 (either returning, or just reverse the trend over time), think of the benefit. To hire a new teacher, we need $70,000 (salary and benefits) and add another $30,000 for the other resources to equip a classroom. So every 25 students returned to TSD needs $100,000 to staff a new classroom. 1,000 divided by 25 students per class means 40 new classrooms need to be staffed. That costs $4,000,000. 1,000 new students will generate $7,000,000, leaving another $3,000,000 that can be used to pay for programs, salaries or other operational costs.
- “Thompson Reinvented” is not a piecemeal approach. It is not a band-aid. It is bold visionary plan looking at long-term solutions for the entire district. 1 mill costs $8/year per $100,000 assessor's actual home value. The average home in our area is $200,000. The bond, which addresses many of the critical pieces of “Thompson Reinvented” is 9.044 mills. That’s $72.35/year per $100,000 assessor's actual home value or $144.70/year on average. Divide that by 12 and you get $12.06/month to reinvent the whole thing! Poudre and St. Vrain are pursuing even bigger bond amounts and they are already ahead. Is this really the time to think small?
- Phase 2 is not in this round of bond financing. We have bonds that will begin to expire in 8 year, just as this phase of bond projects is completed.
- A school under 300 has a hard time offering a complete program without combo classrooms. Such schools cannot offer fully staffed arts, counseling, library, etc. The average school population in St. Vrain and Poudre is 450, but ours is 360. We need to get our economies of scale back.
- Just adding another 1,500 student high school does not solve the middle school crowding at Lucile Erwin. If we make the new high school a 6-12, then 1,500 plus the 900 typical of middle school would take us right back to a 2,500 student school. In fact, this is how the District would anticipate opening the school. Failure to vacate the Loveland High School campus takes away the ability to consolidate 2-3 tiny elementary schools in the area. So we still have under-enrolled schools on top of overcrowded schools.
- By converting the current Loveland High School and Bill Reed to a K-8, we maximize our assets and enable a closure of as many as 3 schools. Neighborhoods will still have neighborhood schools. Consolidating some elementary schools will allow resources like partial staffing for art, counseling, library, etc. to merge to provide better service for kids.
- PSD recently had 250 applicants for 1 teaching position in 2015, TSD comparably had 150.
- According to Colorado Department of Education (CDE), TSD experienced a teacher turnover rate of a little over 15% in 2015 with 139 of our approximately 920 educators leaving the district: https://www.cde.state.co.us/cdereval/4-2015-16revisedturnoverreportpdf
THOMPSON VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL
- This school needs some renovation. It is the only high school with a single auxiliary gym. Adding a STEM wing to eliminate the modular classrooms in back will enhance safety and curriculum. Remodeling the entrances will also help security and appearance.
THOMPSON RIVER RANCH
- High Plains cannot handle the growth to the east and our next easternmost school is Winona. We need a new school east of I-25 to meet the needs of the students who live there now as well as the growing population.
- Our local economy is going to be driven by custom manufacturing, innovative technologies in both renewable and traditional energy sources, research and creative pursuits. Each of these areas is dependent on a workforce that is well-trained, proficient in current technologies and adaptive to lifelong learning. The foundation for that workforce is developed in our local schools. We should not allow budget decisions made at the federal and state level to dictate the quality of education and the job prospects for our local students. We need the opportunity to make a local decision that defines who we are, the type of community we desire and the opportunities we want to provide our children and grandchildren.
- “Why isn't the marijuana initiative solving the school funding problem?” Contrary to public perception, school districts will not see any operating funds as a result of the marijuana ballot initiative. A small amount of revenue from marijuana taxes will be placed in a State Capital Construction account for matching grants to school districts. TSD has actually received about $270,000 to help pay for roofing repair/replacement at BHS. Most marijuana funds will just go into the State budget or local city budgets.
Retirees/Senior Citizens w/out school-age children
- “My kids have graduated and no longer live with me. Why should I support a ballot initiative?” One of the most significant factors in local property values is the schools in the neighborhood. Well-maintained schools with solid instructional programs are the lifeblood of any neighborhood. The alternative is to allow schools to deteriorate further and negatively affect the neighborhood. Also, strong schools produce a well-educated workforce and citizens who improve the opportunities to draw jobs and improve the economy of our community.
- “Is there tax relief available for senior citizens if the bond and MLO passes?” Yes. The Senior Property Tax Exemption, or the Homestead Act, now in effect for qualifying senior citizens, surviving spouses of senior citizens who previously qualified, and disabled veterans. Homeowners 65 and older who have been in their primary residence for ten or more years and disabled veterans can apply to their county’s tax assessor for this relief. For those who qualify, 50% of the first $200,000 in actual value of their home is exempt from taxation, up to a maximum of $100,000. More information is available at the Larimer County webpage (http://www.larimer.org/assessor/senior_exemption.htm). There is also the Senior Tax Work-Off Program. If a ballot measure is proposed and passes in November, TSD will be providing a program for senior citizens to work off a portion of their property taxes by volunteering in the District. Qualifying seniors must be at least 62 years of age, and own and live in their non-income producing home within the TSD boundary area. Only one person per household may apply. More information can be found here: http://larimer.co.networkofcare.org/aging/services/agency.aspx?pid=ThompsonRJSchoolDistrictSeniorTaxWorkOffProgram_1189_1_0
- “Isn't the school district doing better financially now that the economy has improved?” Unfortunately, school funding in Colorado is still constrained by the State budget. When the recession started in 2008, the state was forced to make significant budget cuts. K-12 education had one of the biggest cuts at approximately $1,000 per student. Despite Amendment 23 requirements, the State has yet to restore those funds.
- “Didn't Amendment 23 take care of school funding forever by guaranteeing additional funding?” Amendment 23 was passed in 2000 and promised funding at least in the amount equal to annual inflation (as measured by the Denver CPI). Unfortunately, when the recession hit in 2008, the State found a loophole in the constitutional amendment that allowed the State to implement a "negative factor" to reduce funding below the constitutional requirement.
- “Test Scores have been good in our district, why do we need to raise additional funds?” Test scores, graduation rates, school ranking and enrollment have all been upward trending in TSD in recent years. Our district is delivering a quality, diversified education to our students, all during and immediately following a recession and state budget crisis. TSD leadership has steered our District through lean budget times by cutting central staff and administration. CONSIDER THIS: TSD, as the largest employer in or community, no longer employs an Assistant Superintendent and there are 15 administrators that work in the district office to support more than 1870 employees and over 16,000 students. They have maximized efficiencies (K-8 consolidation at High Plains) and continue to work to keep funding cuts away from the classroom as much as possible. But our District has been hit with over $56 million in state funding cuts over the last 4 years, or 12% of its budget. 84% of the school district’s costs are allocated to salaries and benefits for our most important resources - teachers and staff. That leaves very little room to make further cuts without eliminating teachers and pulling more resources away from students. While the state revenue forecast is improving, projections are that there will be no reinstatement of cuts to education over the next several years. TSD cannot sustain our path of achieving excellence without additional resources. Without a 3D & 3E, local funding through the mill and bond, TSD class sizes will likely continue to grow, teacher salaries will continue to fall behind, facility integrity will fail with age, and course options will decrease - potentially causing permanent damage to our education services.
- Public school funding is certainly complicated when you consider federal contributions to Title I resources, state contributions towards textbooks and staffing, and local contributions to address operational costs and capital improvements that are no longer part of the State Education Fund. Many school districts in Colorado, including Thompson, are dealing with increased needs and decreased funding:
- Increases in student population, while bringing in more state dollars, also brings more costs (over 24,000 new housing units are approved for construction within our district).
- Loss of students to neighboring districts causes associated losses through per/pupil funding that don't correlate with district costs of operation such as healthcare, transportation, energy, and compensation (1800 TSD area students attend public school in other districts at a total cost of over $12,690,000 annually).
- Decreased local property tax revenue due to TABOR revenue/spending limits and reduced assessment rates through the Gallagher constitutional amendment, has shifted the majority of public education funding to come from the State General Fund ($14,200,000 annual cut to Thompson schools since 2012, part of the $833,000,000 annual cut to the Colorado state funding formula for education).
- Although the Mill Levy Stabilization Act corrected the automatic cutting of mill levies through the state School Finance Act by freezing mill rates at the will of the voters in 2007, it only froze rates at their current levels. In many cases, rates were 50% lower than they had been previously (Thompson area mill rates are currently at 38 mills, 5.2 mills LESS than in 2007).
- “It is certainly reasonable to acknowledge that money, by itself, is not a comprehensive solution for improving school quality. Clearly, money can be spent poorly and have limited influence on school quality. Or, money can be spent well and have substantive positive influence. But money that’s not there can’t do either. The available evidence leaves little doubt: Sufficient financial resources are a necessary underlying condition for providing quality education” http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED528632.pdf
- The Colorado Budget for 2016-2017 approved by the House of Representatives in April, would hold the ongoing effect of the "Negative Factor" for K-12 funding at the same level as last year. TSD's average per pupil funding for next year is projected to be $7,050, which is $4,600 below the 2013 National average of $11,667 and nearly $2,000 below the Colorado average of $8,986. Colorado consistently ranks around 43rd in the nation for per pupil spending: http://www.leg.state.co.us/clics/clics2016a/csl.nsf/fsbillcont3/AB0EB89E0C80406187257F7F005756ED?Open&file=HB1422_00.pdf
- Despite the economic upswing most communities in the Front Range have been experiencing, it's not a unique situation we find ourselves in here in Thompson School District. Due to many factors, districts across the state are struggling to keep dollars in the classroom while addressing inadequate infrastructure, deferred maintenance, outdated curriculum, and lagging compensation for our teachers. All of these critical factors affect the success and achievement of our students and consequently, state and local funding is not keeping up with these increasing costs. Mandated assessments that are, ironically, not funded by the state, increased opportunities and choice in our schools, climbing energy costs, aging facilities that require immediate attention - these all demand more and more of our district budget. Even though growth is a big contributor to our improved local economy, our current mill rates have been exhausted and the maximum amount of revenue collected by TSD remains the same. Costs to effectively operate our district are increasing - the funding to cover these costs is not.
- School finance is complex and understandably confusing. But, the better informed we are as voters, the more effective we can be when making important decisions that affect every single person that lives in our community. Visit this "School Finance 101" slideshow for a clear explanation of the various components of school finance in Colorado and see for yourself how decades of defunding our schools is ultimately impacting every single person living in this community who depends on the success of our students now and in the future. If we take care of our students, they will take care of us: http://www.greateducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BeginnerSchoolFinanceandTABOR-1.pdf
- In this day and age, data has become key to determining the success of our public schools in educating our children. So, to better correlate the physical learning environment and student achievement, take a look at some evidence-based insights from the "Behavioral and Brain Sciences". With nearly 12,000 hours spent in their schools between kindergarten and 12th grade, it's undeniable that the condition of their classrooms profoundly influences our student's learning:
- Building's structural facilities affect student achievement and can either facilitate or undermine learning.
- Students exposed to a larger amount of daylight in their classrooms had 2-6% higher math and reading test scores than those who were exposed to less daylight.
- Excessive noise in the classroom, such as aging and inefficient heating and ventilation units, hinders learning significantly.
- Overheated rooms, low-quality air, and a lack of ventilation have been shown to negatively affect test performance and decrease student attendance. With safety being the priority for our students, windows and doors can no longer be propped open to cool down our unconditioned classrooms during the warmest seasons.
- “How much of a tax increase will I see as a homeowner?” 1 mill costs $8/year per $100,000 assessor's actual home value. The average home's actual value in our area is around $247,000. The proposed $288 million bond is 9.04 mills and the $11 million MLO is 6.5 mills. That’s $72.32 and $52.00 a year, respectively per $100,000 assessor's actual home value - not the market value you might see on websites such as Zillow.
- Colorado Springs School District 11 2016 Bond/MLO Q&A: http://www.d11.org/Vision2030/Pages/MLO.aspx
- RH TSD MLO history rates: http://www.reporterherald.com/news/education/ci_29251139/thompson-mill-levy-more-taxes-mean-less-state
- St. Vrain Valley School District 2012 MLO FAQs: http://grassrootsstvrain.org/2012-mill-levy-override-faqs/
- Great Education Colorado “Great Futures Action Summit 2016 - School Finance 101”: http://www.greateducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/BeginnerSchoolFinanceandTABOR-1.pdf
- Great Education Colorado Public School Funding FAQs: http://www.greateducation.org/statistics-faqs/funding-faqs/public-school-funding/
- Behavioral and Brain Sciences study - “Designing Classrooms to Maximize Student Achievement”: http://bbs.sagepub.com/content/1/1/4.full.pdf+html
- “Thompson Reinvented”: http://thompson.k12.co.us/page/12886
- TSD BOE Feb. 17 presentation by Gordon Jones re: Budget Development: http://www.boarddocs.com/co/thompson/Board.nsf/files/A78VWW7E96D2/$file/7.2.1%20BoE%201617%20budget%20update%20-%2002.17.16%20%28v2%29.pdf
- TSD BOE Mar. 9 presentation by Gordon Jones re: history and cost of TSD Bonds/MLO: http://www.boarddocs.com/co/thompson/Board.nsf/files/A7RPRR65E8D3/$file/March%209%20Materials%20for%20Financial%20Considerations.pdf
- TSD MPC Master Plan with facilities scorecards: http://thompson.k12.co.us/page/2258
- USNews article “If You Build It, They’ll Learn Better”: http://www.usnews.com/opinion/knowledge-bank/2015/06/03/better-school-infrastructure-can-boost-student-learning
- The Albert Shanker Institute “Does Money Matter In Education”: http://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED528632.pdf