The district has said it will spend the additional money on three key areas: teacher salaries, technology and school bus upgrades. For the sake of the students, we hope that it passes.
The override amounts to 4.96 mills. According to Dan Porter, director of human resources for the district, “If you sell four, 1-ton bales of hay, you’ve paid the tax increase for the year for our school kids.”
For the two competitive seats on the district’s governing board, The Journal editorial board recommends the two incumbents, Brian Balfour in District A and Sheri Noyes in District F. The district is intently focused on improving student test scores to meet state requirements, and steady, continuous board leadership makes that more likely to be successful.
There is only a single candidate for each of the other three seats, but they deserve a vote of approval: John Schuenemeyer, who is the board president, Kara Suckla and Josiah Forkner. Forkner’s seat for the southwest portion of the school district is unique in Colorado, as in order to make it more likely that it represents Ute Mountain Ute tribal members, its candidates not only live in the district, but are voted on only by residents of the district. All the other district seats are voted at large.
HHHMancos RE-6 – Voters in Mancos should approve the request for an additional $575,000 annually in property taxes in order to match a much larger state Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant that will make possible construction and improvements to numerous school district buildings and grounds. Mancos schools have made good use of their buildings and grounds through the years, but improvements and repairs are needed.
The BEST grant program, which allowed Cortez to construct such a functional and attractive new high school, should be taken advantage of in Mancos.
There are two open board seats for the Mancos schools and two candidates. Show your support for Blake Mitchell and Brian Hawkins.
HHHDolores RE-4A – Seven individuals are seeking the two open seats on the Dolores School Board. All or almost all have children in the district and profess to be able to apply good judgment to district issues. The Journal editorial board endorses Eugene Reininger, a professional surveyor who has a minor in education and who advocates for the integration of strong arts and trades programs.
In addition, Kay Phelps has a long and solid list of experiences and accomplishments in education. She has a doctorate in education and has taught for 31 years, including 13 years in Dolores. Phelps ought to bring significant experience in both pre-K and higher education to the district.
The other candidates are Lisa Holz, Gerald Whited, Sandra Corbitt, Casey McClellan and Rebecca Frasier. Frazier is an incumbent, appointed in July 2016.
The top two vote getters will be the winners.
We thank everyone for wanting to bring energy and ideas to make the public schools even better.