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LETTER: Not convinced there's justification for new school funds

Published: March 15, 2017 1:00 AM

After headline articles in the Advocate last year and in early 2017 aimed at creating an illusion that the Board of Education was studying the necessity of a new money school levy, the levy discussion disappeared from radar.

However, it's now official (surprised?) -- a 5.9-mill levy will appear on the May 2 ballot. But finding this news was a chore. Nothing about a levy was mentioned in the latest edition of "Your Schools," supposedly an information-sharing publication put out by the district.

You had to look hard to find it in the March 1 Advocate in fine print at the very end of a story on Page 10 titled "Superintendent touts schools." In the March 8 Advocate, only a glancing Page 7 reference to millage and levies appeared in the "School News" section.

It is no wonder the School Board is trying to keep it quiet. It's embarrassing to seek more money a year earlier than promised in the 2012 campaign. This tactic is designed to keep us in the dark before we have adequate time to respond.

While sitting on a $7 million cash balance, which the schools would say is still insufficient (even though it is $2 million higher than 2012), have they factored in property values are up by $33 million (and growing) since then, feeding them a healthy diet of "new" money even without a levy?

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And how can it be justified in the face of the decade-long stagnation in student enrollment? I think the School Board is playing games here.

Stating "educational excellence" is not sufficient evidence for Aurorans to support a ridiculous new tax of $200 for every $100,000 of our property valuation. This levy is not about putting kids first, it is about maintaining legacy benefits and broken financial promises.

Gary Henrich, Aurora

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