Denver Ballot Issue 4A Debt Free Schools Mill Levy
Referred Measure 4A: Debt Free Schools Mill LevyTitle: Shall Denver Public Schools taxes be increased by up to $32 million in tax year 2021 and by the amounts in any year thereafter that are raised from a mill levy of 4 mils.Background: The Denver Public Schools is proposing a mill levy increase to raise money for infrastructure improvements to give students, teachers and staff resources to cope with the effects of the pandemic.A mill levy override affects the taxes a property owner pays. The last DPS mill levy increase was approved by voters in 2016, and it raised an estimated $56.6 million for early literacy and for social-emotional student support.The 2020 proposal will raise an estimated $32 million the first year. The amounts in parentheses after major provisions are the money proposed to be spent on each goal.Major Provisions:Increase property taxes by a total of 4 mills over a period of years, not to exceed 1.55 mills in the first year (2021), and not to be raised by more than 1 mill in subsequent years. Use the additional funds to:Add mental health professionals and counselors to support students ($3 million).Add nurses to support Covid-19 monitoring and prevention as well as health education ($4 million).Increase minimum wages for school support staff to $14.77/hour and add a cost of living increase to teachers’ salaries ($17 million)Enhance special education programs including more paraprofessionals and speech-language pathologists ($2 million)Give charter schools more support ($6 million).Denver Public Schools will publish an annual report on how these additional funds were spent.
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Yes - For the Measure
No - Against the Measure
Those in favor say:
-By approving 4A, Denver voters will make public education a priority this year, ensure every student receives a high-quality education, increase graduation rates, reduce class sizes and help Denver’s kids get the education they deserve in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
-Denver’s schools have made a lot of progress, but we have seen that some of our students are being left behind, especially our most vulnerable, during COVID-19. A positive vote will ensure Denver invests in our students, teachers, and community by giving teachers a cost of living raise, investing in additional mental health supports so teachers can focus on teaching while students are getting the support they need, and adding nurses to help keep our students and teachers safe.
-Every child in our city deserves an equal chance to succeed academically, and each teacher deserves the tools to make that happen. Support Denver’s teachers and students by voting Yes on 4A, the Denver Public Schools Debt-Free Schools Mill Levy.
There is no organized opposition to this measure at this time.
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