Mill Levy and Bond
October 17, 2017
If you can’t stand never knowing the time while you’re in class because of the failing clocks, or having to plug your nose every time you entire the locker room with the broken exhaust system, then there’s a perfect solution on the way. Mesa County is getting ready to vote this November for a measure that addresses issues in our school district that need to be fixed.
Fruita Monument alone needs over $5 million in improvements around our school. Improvements need to be made in technology, security, education materials, training, roofing, exhaust systems, and more.
“All of our bathrooms are really gross. We also need more resources in our library to make it less of an elementary school environment and more aimed towards our grade level.” says senior, Peyton Drake. In our school district, we are behind in our education compared to other districts because we do not have the resources and materials we need to be successful. The textbooks in some of our schools have old information that is no longer relevant.
We are also behind on the school calendar by at least 5 days. Other districts have more days on their calendar and, therefore, more learning opportunities.
“It affects it (education) a lot because the kids go to school 3 weeks less than everybody else,” says Kelly Flenniken, committee chair for Citizens for School District 51. “It really stinks that we don’t have any new textbooks because you have to rely on your teachers for new information. Pluto listed as a planet and Bill Clinton being referred to as our current president is not okay. A lot has happened since then and it shouldn’t even be a question that we need the right materials for our children in the classroom.”
The bond measure asks voters to allow the district to issue $118.5 million in bonds that would go directly to specific problems in our schools. This money would be paid off by property taxes along with the mill. The mill levy will raise $6.5 million dollars for 10 years and ask an average homeowner to pay $9.89 a month. The district has had trouble passing this measure in the past as it requires residents to pay more taxes for the schools.
“Our economy has been lack lustered and the last time we brought this measure to the board was 2011. There was a lot of distrust of administration in the school district because the ballot was unclear where the money was going. That’s why we’ve built our website to be as transparent as it can be this time around so people know what they are voting for and how it will directly impact our community,” explains Flenniken.
Students in District 51 understand the troubles their schools endure more than any director. A 4th grader talked to a reporter about how she hates having gym outside due to getting cuts and bruises while she plays. There is no place to play in the winter, and it doesn’t seem fair to her that she doesn’t get that opportunity. Another student in high school mentioned that while touring colleges, she felt she had “been jipped” in her education and was missing out on certain materials she never had.
“Tell your parents to vote, talk to your friends and tell them how you think certain issues in your school are important. Talk about how you hate sitting in broken bleachers or using smelly locker rooms or not knowing if your school is safe.” Flenniken advises students to fight for their generation so that they can one day make for powerful leaders. Help spread the word about the Mill Levy and Bond to improve Fruita Monument’s overall excellence.
Picture Credit: Citizens for School District 51