Vail Daily letter: It’s about the children |

Vail Daily letter: It’s about the children

Charlie Wick
Eagle, CO Colorado

I want to address the issue of why there was no sunset provision in the 3B ballot question.

Eagle County Schools has a bucket with our property taxes in it. The state adds to this bucket. As property values (and taxes) went up, the state put less money in the bucket. The dollars in the bucket stayed the same. Our district’s revenues, due to the state formula, never boomed.

As state funding has decreased and property tax dollars have decreased, schools have taken a double whammy several years running. The monies in the bucket decreased. The school board has cut expenses as revenues decreased at the same time that school attendance increased (attendance confirmed and state-audited).

When local property values go back up and state revenues as well (we can only hope), the most we can count on is inflation increases starting then, not retroactively.

State law, with local voter approval, allows any school district to have an override election. This is what 3B is. State law allows us to approve more dollars for school operations than the state appropriates for us. We will be less dependent on the state of Colorado for the fiscal health of our schools, which is exactly where we should be.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Why should anyone believe the state has the magic funding formula that serves our schools the best?

Summit and Pitkin school districts had successful override elections last year. They were on the same boat as our district is on.

Without 3B, the issue at this point is about even larger class sizes. Fewer teachers mean bigger classes, which results in less time with each student. In my opinion, this is a not political issue. It is an issue about serving our children.

Disclosure: My spouse is an elementary teacher in the district since 1977. She has taught hundreds of children. She gets hugs wherever she goes. I admire her and all good teachers.

Support Local Journalism