Taxpayers in Monument overwhelming rejected debt and tax increases to fund a new 600+ seat elementary school that would have cost about $65 million over the life of the loan.
However, District 38’s seating capacity challenges still need solutions.
The community needs to come together with new ways to solve these issues as we all care about quality education for students.
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Developers and builders should pay higher fees to District 38 to fund schools. Since they profit from new home sales, they should pay significantly more towards the new schools needed to serve households moving into the Tri-Lakes area.
2) Portables should be added. I went to school in a portable and received a first-class education.
Adding portables is sensible and immediate solution and students can receive a great education in a portable building staffed by our excellent teachers.
3) District 38 should do what is needed to make Grace Best Elementary School (GBES) a fully functioning school again.
Taxpayers are smart and know GBES can be renovated for much less than the $65 million figure in the recent failed bond/MLO measure.
4) Monument Academy, a public school, is building a new Middle School/High School at the corner of Highway 83 and Highway 105. District 38 has approximately $2 million in reserves and saved funds allocated to buildings.
District 38 should put these funds towards Monument Academy’s new school site creating 1,200 needed seats — at no additional cost to taxpayers.
5) Look at the numbers: New taxes/$65 million+ new bond/MLO costs = 600 seats @ $108,000/seat. No new taxes/$2 million existing D38 money = 1,200 seats @ $1,666/seat. How can anyone suggest that over-paying by a magnitude of 64 fold is an efficient use of resources?
Let’s all work together to solve these problems without new debt and unneeded/unwanted taxes.
Scott R. Saunders is Sr. Vice President of Asset Preservation, Inc. and has been a resident of Monument since 1977.