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Brighton’s school district says it needs money. So, come Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will be asked to approve an increase of eight mills to provide for school safety, retention of teachers and …
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Brighton’s school district says it needs money. So, come Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will be asked to approve an increase of eight mills to provide for school safety, retention of teachers and something else.,
The last time Brighton voters approved a mill-levy override was 2000.
“We’ve pulled all the budget-trimming levers we have,” said 27J spokesperson Janelle Asmus. “There is no more nibbling around the edges that we can do to make ends meet. It’s that simple. It’s that dire. We are at the point where we are having to face cuts to things that will negatively impact students and families. But that’s where we are. There are no other options.”
The cost is less than a dollar per day on a house with an assessed value of $500,000. If voters turn down the override, the district said it will cut middle- and high-school sports programs, though no specifics were available. Extracurricular programs across the district will be cut, as will school bus services. The district also said class sizes will increase next year.
“We are losing more staff than we ever have, and it's largely due to pay,” Asmus said. “We cannot continue on this trajectory or we can't continue to do business. If we don't have enough teachers, we can't educate students. We have to find a way to compete with other districts when it comes to paying our teachers a competitive wage. We have to do this no matter what. But making changes to be competitive will come at a cost of other programs and services.”
Asmus went onto say other employees, besides teachers, are leaving the district.
“We have a lot of moving parts in a large and growing school district. We rely on people to pay the bills, buy and service classroom technology, people to fix leaky toilets, people to drive our students to school and people to make a good lunch for kids,” Asmus said. “If these roles are performed, we can't do our teaching job well because our learning environment won't support our work. Not only do we compete with other districts for these types of staff, we're competing with private businesses and industries. We have positions that have gone unfilled for months, and some have been vacant for years because we can't attract candidates because of our pay.”
Ballots have to be turned in to the Adams County Clerk and Recorder’s Office by 7 p.m. Nov. 8.
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