Archive for August, 2008

Why I’m for the MLO and Bond

August 25, 2008

On Wednesday, I will vote to put a Mill Levy Override (MLO) and Bond on the November 4 ballot.  I think it is a good thing that voters decide whether or not to raise taxes.  It is an opportunity for a community to decide how to invest its money.  Here is why I believe the MLO and the Bond are critical investments.

 

For me, the MLO and Bond come down to a very basic question.  Will we, as a St. Vrain community, keep out the Welcome Mat for young families or will we slam the door in their face?

 

When my wife and I moved our family to Longmont in early 2001, we were struck by the community’s family friendly nature.  We found it to be a great place to raise young children.

 

The family friendly focus in St. Vrain communities is at risk.

 

We do not have the resources in the St. Vrain School District to provide educational basics that are taken for granted in most other school districts in the state and nation.  It is not hyperbole.  It is a fact that St. Vrain is one of the lowest funded school districts in the nation.

 

In most school districts in our state and nation, people take it for granted that class sizes in the elementary grades should be in the low 20s, at most.  We have many elementary classrooms in the high 20s and low 30s.

 

People take it for granted that we should be expanding course offerings in math, science, language and the arts to meet the needs of 21st Century students.  We are cutting our course offerings.

 

People take it for granted that school infrastructure must include ready access to high speed internet and modern classroom technology.  We’re falling behind.

 

People take it for granted that early targeted intervention for students who need extra help and need opportunities to stretch themselves is of critical importance.  We’re rolling back programs we know work.

 

These are the consequences of being one of the lowest funded school districts in the nation.

 

All of this sends a strong message to young families.  Look somewhere else to raise your children.

 

Young families will not put up with large class sizes, limited course offerings and a lack of education basics that people take for granted in most other school districts.  At least, not for long.

 

I do not want to slam the proverbial door in the face of young families.  Young families are the cornerstone of any vibrant community; the lifeblood of sustained well-being.

 

I want to hang big banners across the entrances of our communities that say, “Young families welcome here.”

 

I can think of no better way to raise those banners than voting yes on the MLO and Bond.