Denver voters to decide two ballot questions affecting multi-million dollar public school spending

$49 million levy; $466 million bond up for vote

DENVER - Denver voters heading to the polls this November being asked to decide two ballot questions concerning the Denver Public School District - a $49 million mill levy and a $466 bond issue.  If they both pass it will add about $140 to a tax bill on a $225,000 home.

The $49 mill levy would be broken down in 4 ways:

  1. early childhood education
  2. enrichment programs
  3. instructional support
  4. technology upgrades

The $466 million bond issue will be used for critical maintenance needs, such as replacing boilers and cooling systems, as well as address overcrowding in certain schools.

According to DPS Superintendent, Tom Boasberg, "the bond and mill are critical investments in our kids and the future of our city."

But, not everyone agrees.

"No on Denver 3B" is a grassroots group that supports the mill levy, but opposes the bond issue. The group believes the bond includes too much and is too expensive.

"Why would we ask seniors and low-income citizens to vote for something that's not needed," asked group member Arturo Jimenez.

The group believes the bond should be re-vamped and put on next year's ballot.

"I ask folks to help us reformulate a better bond that we can put on next year," explained Jimenez.

"No on Denver 3B" is also worried the funds will not be distributed fairly. The group believes the proposal favors more affluent parts of town, and ignores areas that need help most.

Parent Lisa Calderon agreed, "I am concerned about the unfairness. I am concerned about inequity. I am concerned that a zip code determines the quality of an education. That should not happen."

In response to questions from 7NEWS, DPS said that all money will be used for school and student programs, and it's urging voters to go online to see how much their school will get under the mill and bond proposals.

"They can look and see exactly how much money to the dollar their school will get as a result of this bond," explained Boasberg.

Other districts in the area have similar issues on the November ballot, including Cherry Creek, Jefferson County, and Aurora.

For more information on the DPS plan, please click here.  For more information on the opposition, please visit NoOnDenver3B's website.

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