Welcome back to the 2015-16 school year. I hope everyone had a restful and rejuvenating Winter Break.
As students return to school and begin second semester, school and district staff continue work on numerous initiatives supporting student success. Priority action plans are being implemented supporting the district strategic plan, The Success Effect. Phase one planning is well underway on the new bond construction and innovation work. The Board of Education and administration will begin developing the 2016-17 budget. Information describing the Colorado state student assessment will be distributed later this month.
The 2016 Colorado legislative session will begin January 13. This is an optimal time to work with legislators to secure adequate funding for public education. Underfunding public schools in Colorado is having a negative impact on schools, teachers and students throughout the state. BVSD has lost $175M since 2009 due to underfunding and the governor’s proposed budget will result in over $30M additional loss of funds.
If funding from the state had kept pace with inflation and enrollment growth since 2009, BVSD would be able to provide additional services for students including district-wide full-day kindergarten, implementing a comprehensive literacy program, and hiring more school counselors, nurses and teachers. For details, view this handout about The Cost of Education Student Services at BVSD.
Following are a few websites that provide information on organizations working on school funding and related issues.
- Great Education Colorado – an excellent advocacy organization for parents and educators http://www.greateducation.org/
- Colorado School Finance Project – BVSD is an active member of this organization. You can find a lot of information on this website and search TABOR on the site to find specific information. http://www.cosfp.org/
- Colorado Fiscal Institute – another excellent resource and we will be asking them to provide a presentation to the BVSD community after the first of the year. http://www.coloradofiscal.org/
- Colorado Futures Center at Colorado State University – provides vital research and analysis of public policies impacting Colorado’s future and quality of life. It has helpful information about TABOR.http://coloradofutures.colostate.edu/
I encourage all parents, students and staff to contact the governor and legislators to remind them of the importance of public education and encourage them to provide adequate funding. Legislators whose districts are wholly or partially within the boundaries of our school district are listed on the BVSD website. A full directory of members of the Colorado General Assembly is on the state’s website.
I’m looking forward to a great start for the new year!
By Superintendent Bruce K. Messinger, Ph.D.