Both Aurora school districts are asking voters for property tax increases to deal with more students, aging buildings and changing needs.
The plans and requests from both Aurora Public Schools and Cherry Creek School District are thoughtful, prudent and critically needed.
In Aurora Public Schools, ballot question 3C seeks to raise property taxes to net bond payments for $300 million in construction and maintenance.
The aging school district has a long and growing list of needs to better serve a community showing exceptional growth. Not only is the entire city growing at a fast clip, Aurora is increasingly becoming home to more and more families. Schools are at their limits, and the older ones, never intended to house the growing populations they do, are beyond their limits.
The centerpiece of construction would be replacements for Mrachek Middle School and Lynn Knoll Elementary School, both long overdue for scraping the last of 1970s mistakes. Besides being wracked by infrastructure problems, the schools were created in an era that one-giant-room and cheaper materials was all the rage. Now, students and teachers struggle to make sense of the buildings, which are quickly deteriorating.
In addition to needed replacements, the district would net a wide range of badly needed repairs and improvements to buildings across the district. It’s a big price tag, but the list of improvements is impressive and each one desperately needed.
Still, the cumulative price spells out a reasonable request for homeowners, less than $5 a month for the owner of a $200,000 home.
Aurora Public Schools has repeatedly shown the community they ask for money only when there’s no alternative, and that the plan they set forth for expenditures is the plan they deliver. Since the needs are widespread, there isn’t a neighborhood in the school district that won’t benefit from this comprehensive construction plan.
Vote yes on 3C.