Vote 'Yes' for Castle Rock kids
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Vote 'Yes' for Castle Rock kids

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Editor’s note: Today’s guest was submitted by Jessica Lakey of the Yes for Castle Rock KIDS! group. Editorial content from other publications and authors is provided to give readers a sampling of regional and national opinion and does not necessarily reflect positions endorsed by the Editorial Board of The Daily News.

This is Castle Rock School District’s third attempt to pass this school bond in the past few years. What’s different now? Overall, the total bond amount was lowered in response to citizen feedback from $42 million in the last two bond attempts, down to $34.7 million this time. How is that possible?

1. Interestingly, this time the elementary school renovation portion of the Castle Rock school bond is nearly four times what it was in the last two times the district ran a bond.

The first two times the district has run this bond, the local taxpayers were asked to provide $3 million for the elementary, but there were no state matching funds available due to the “newness” of it’s construction.

However, by dividing the elementary school into two “buildings” – intermediate and primary – the state match calculations will be based on the last remodel date of each school. As anyone who has walked through the building(s) can tell you, there’s a clear divide between the more modern primary school construction, and the older intermediate school side.

This has actually qualified CRSD for an estimated $6.2 million in state partial matching funds for that intermediate school, that for once exceeds the $5.6 million contributed by our local bond.

2. The high school renovation has been eliminated from this bond, but our highs schoolers will still benefit!

The new middle school will be constructed right next door to the high school (as was clearly decided by our community in the advisory vote a few years ago) and it will have shared use opportunities.

These include STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) spaces, technical classes like construction science, nursing science and diesel mechanics, food preparation and dining spaces, site and traffic improvements. Also performance space and a gym that will be available to high school students and community use, too.

All told, the district is finding ways for this bond to benefit every one of the 1,400-plus students in our schools.

And just as critically:

School Levies make ALL the difference! Levies fund things the state legislature doesn’t.

Special Education teachers and paraprofessionals, counselors, custodians and coaches, and even some regular education teachers and paraprofessionals are all funded by levies. Each one is truly essential to our students. Student activities including athletics, field trips, music, drama, art and other enrichment opportunities are also funded by this levy.

When you think about the things a levy brings to our schools they keep students engaged in school that might just not love plain old reading, writing and arithmetic. Levy funds reach out to the band kid, the choir kid, the drama kid, the shop kid, the ag kid, the sports kid, the techie kid, the science kid. The ones that look forward to school because of these particular classes.

Think back to your school days and remember the teachers you loved, the fun days that stand out in your mind. There’s a really, really good chance that levy dollars fund those very things that enrich a student’s school experience and help them find their passions.

Please, Vote Yes for Castle Rock KIDS!

Jessica Lakey

Co-chair, Yes for Castle Rock KIDS!

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