Harrison School District 2, the Pikes Peak region’s most socio-economically diverse school district primarily serving southeast Colorado Springs, is a big winner in Tuesday’s election, with 56 percent of voters in early results approving its first bond measure in 18 years.

But Lewis-Palmer School District 38 in Monument will have to come up with a Plan B to address growth, as two-thirds of voters rejected two ballot financing measures in preliminary results.

Harrison D-2’s $180 million bond issue will pay for upgrades to buildings, improved technology and security.

D-2 plans to construct a Carmel Middle School building, convert Soaring Eagles and Sand Creek International elementary schools into K-8 campuses, and enhance security, safety, technology and ADA compliance at all schools.

The initiative will cost the average homeowner in D-2 about $15 monthly. Decreases in state education funding shortchanged D-2 by $90 million over the past decade, officials said.

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Voters of Lewis-Palmer School District 38 in Monument said "no" to a $1 million mill levy override and a $36.5 million bond authorization, in preliminary tallies, with 67 percent and 68 percent rejection.

In five years, D-38 is expected to add nearly 1,000 students, and existing schools are at or near capacity, according to district officials.

Officials wanted to build an elementary school, convert Bear Creek Elementary back to a middle school, and provide safety and security improvements at all D-38 schools.

Critics said the proposals would have led the district to overbuild and questioned its efforts to attract students from outside its boundaries to attend D-38 schools and preschool programs.

School District 49 in eastern El Paso County will be able to reduce its mill levy by switching from a fixed dollar amount of $7.5 million annually to a fixed cap of 18.500 mills.

Voter approval, about 56 percent in early results, means the district can  continue to increase funding through tax revenue from new-home construction. The change will decrease property taxes.

Sixty-two percent of voters in Ellicott School District 22 in eastern El Paso County rejected a $4.37 million bond issue, which would have provided  matching funds for a $3.28 million Building Excellent Schools Today, or BEST state grant, to address safety, expand schools and update buildings.

About 70 percent of Manitou Springs School District 14 voters agreed to allow the district to keep an additional $1 million raised from a mill levy override voters approved in 2015.

Tuesday’s approval removes the 52-mill cap. D-14 will use the extra revenue to increase teachers’ salaries and provide new mental health initiatives for students.

Contact the writer: 719-476-1656.


Staff reporter, education and general news and features

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