Measure 3A: Mill Levy |

Measure 3A: Mill Levy

When voters make their way to the ballot box on Nov. 2, their decisions will impact class sizes, career and technical education, athletics and other programs in local schools.

Summit School Board is asking citizens to renew a three-year mill levy that will generate $4 million per year for technology improvements and maintenance throughout the school district.

The appeal comes in the wake of a controversial leadership transition, during which the board terminated the contract of former Superintendent Lynn Spampinato last spring.

Currently, the district pays for maintenance and upkeep of its school buildings and for technology improvements through a tax known as the Special Building, Maintenance and Technology Fund. Voters approved the tax in 2001, and it expires this December.

The existing mill levy funded the new $12.7 million Silverthorne Elementary School. Construction of the 62,500-square-foot facility finished in August, on schedule and under budget.

With the school built and paid for, the district is asking for a renewal of the tax at a lower rate to continue funding for ongoing maintenance and technology improvements in schools. Measure 3A would cost taxpayers less than half the amount of the existing mill levy.

The annual tax bill for a home valued at $400,000 has been paying about $240 annually. If passed, the new bill would be about $100.

The district would use about $2.6 million of the mill levy funds each year for ongoing upkeep activities like roof replacements, asphalt and concrete repair and lighting and safety improvements. The remaining $1.4 million would fund technology projects, including expanded career and technical education programs at Summit High School.

Paying for those costs out of the special fund keeps more money in the school district’s general fund, freeing up dollars for text books and teacher pay.

If the mill levy fails at the polls, district officials say they’ll have to cut educational programs, services and teaching staff. In such a scenario, Summit School Board will bring every sport, class and extracurricular activity up to the chopping block for possible reduction or elimination. The board estimates that 27 teachers would lose their jobs, resulting in larger class sizes.

” Julie Sutor

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