Amendment 39 Please Vote “No”




Дата канвертавання27.04.2016
Памер54 Kb.
Amendment 39

Please Vote “No”
To the editor:

I urge voters to vote “no” on Amendment 39. The amendment, should it pass, will require each school district to expend 65 percent of its operational expenditures on classroom instruction. This, at first glance, might seem like a reasonable and worthwhile goal, but it is fraught with problems.


That’s why numerous educators along with school boards, law enforcement agencies and county commissioners oppose this amendment. It’s why the amendment is opposed by the Colorado Association of School Boards, the Colorado Education Association, the Colorado Association of School Executives, and the Denver Area School Superintendents Council, organizations that have been seeking adequate classroom funding for years.
Here are some of the reasons to vote no on Amendment 39:


  1. Local school boards, with community input, should decide how educational funds are to be spent by their school district with consideration of the right balance among instruction, safety, accountability, efficient management, and community services. The balance is not the same for districts across Colorado. A constitutional amendment greatly hampers local decisions about school expenditures.




  1. Amendment 39 excludes critical services for the safety, well-being and health of students including nurses, guidance counselors, security staff and principals who are essential for safe, well-run schools. While high student achievement is absolutely a mandate for public education, so too is safety and accountability along with food services and transportation – all of which may be greatly limited if the amendment passes.




  1. At the very time school districts across Colorado are examining safety plans and seeking to increase safety services, Amendment 39 creates barriers. Proponents argue that safety is not hampered by Amendment 39 because capital construction and equipment are excluded from the formula. They are so wrong! Safety is grounded in people – and people are funded with operational funds.




  1. Districts will not receive additional funding if this amendment passes. Rather, services outside of the limited window created by Amendment 39 will need to be reduced or eliminated.

I can’t address the specific implications for all districts across Colorado, although I do know, (from information supplied by the Colorado Department of Education), that almost all districts will be forced to reduce valuable, and perhaps essential, services if Amendment 39 passes.


I can share Platte Canyon’s 2006-2007 General Fund operating budget (see Table below) that shows 55.4% currently is allocated for instruction. Adding enterprise funds, including Food Services and the swimming pool fund approved by Platte Canyon taxpayers in the last election, reduces our instructional percent further.
Is it reasonable to reduce already limited support services to meet the 65% mandate? In Platte Canyon the answer is “no.” Amendment 39 will not improve instruction. Without educational support; without safety and health services, without efficient management and accountability, instruction and achievement will not thrive. Public education today requires a mission of “educational excellence in safe schools” and services to fulfill expectations of (1) safe schools with positive environments, (2) high student achievement, (3) positive community-school relationships, and (4) efficient and effective management. Please vote “NO” on “39.”


Service/Functions

Health and Safety Functions

Expenditure

%

Instruction (Amendment 39)

 

$5,029,960

55.4%

Teachers/Aides/Activities/Art/Music, materials, library

 




 

Transportation Services

Safe transport of students

$766,000

8.4%

School Administration

School safety & crisis plan/implement

$578,690

6.4%

Custodial Services

Safety inspections, sanitation

$548,850

6.0%

Utilities (natural gas & electricity)

 

$408,790

4.5%

Technology Support

Phone system, emergency radios

$324,930

3.6%

Communications, networks, computer maintenance




 

 

alarm systems, software licenses, phone costs

 

 

 

Maintenance Services

Safe facilities

$262,960

2.9%

Facility & grounds maintenance & repair;

water testing-lead, nitrates, bacteria

 

 

electrical, HVAC, water & waste-water systems

snow & ice removal

 

 

Counseling and Guidance

Mental Health

$226,020

2.5%

Scheduling, college & career guidance, counseling

bully prevention, conflict resolution

 

 

District Administration

Safety & crisis plan & implement

$185,320

2.0%

Business Support

 

$144,390

1.6%

Fiscal accountability, budgeting, billing, purchasing, pay

 

 

 

General Support Services

 

$111,500

1.2%

Office machines, copying, printing, advertising, postage

 

 

 

Security Services (New)

Security - grounds

$100,000

1.1%

Health Services

Immunizations, medications

$99,170

1.1%

Student health - immunizations, vision/hearing screen

medically fragile students

 

 

medications, accident response

Accident Response, Illnesses

 

 

Staff Development

Safety training - e.g. bullying

$97,680

1.1%

Improvement of Instruction

prevention, safety plans, crisis plans

 

 

Board of Education (Elected Governing Body)

Establish safety priority

$55,720

0.6%

Policies, budget, mill levy, appoint superintendent

Establish safety policies

 

 

includes audit, election & legal fees

 

 

 

Psychological Services

 

$49,540

0.5%

Required Special Ed. Service

 

 

 

Special Education Administration

 

$38,190

0.4%

Clerical Services, cost tracking, service contracts

Services for medically fragile students

 

 

Staff Services

 

$37,800

0.4%

Employment, staff records, staff insurance & benefits

Background checks

 

 

Community Services

 

$8,490

0.1%

Community Voice, notices, website

 

 

 

Total General Fund

 

$9,074,000

100.0%

This letter has been prepared on my own time without the use of Platte Canyon School District resources and represents my view of the negative impact that Amendment 39 will have on Colorado schools and Platte Canyon in particular.

Jim Walpole, Ed. D.

Superintendent



Platte Canyon School District


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