In Support of 5A & 5B for Douglas County Schools.

Education is the silver bullet. Providing access to a quality public education grows our economy, attracts new employers, increases our home values, reduces crime and poverty, and is even linked to better health outcomes.

That’s why today I’m writing in support of ballot measures 5A & 5B in Douglas County.

I want to be clear that these are neither liberal nor conservative ballot measures, they have broad support from Douglas County voters of all political stripes. That’s because Douglas County is so far behind its peers (e.g. Cherry Creek, Littleton, and Boulder school districts) that it’s clear to anyone who takes the time to do their own research that we need investment in Douglas County Schools and we needed it years ago.

5A & 5B represent a bond and a Mill Levy Override (MLO) that were placed on our ballot by a unanimous vote of the Douglas County School Board.

The approval for a new bond does not raise our taxes. Because our prior bonds are about to expire we, in short, simply need approval to issue new bonds. Those bonds will pay for desperately needed school repair and security. Replacing water heaters that cannot keep up with our growing student population and are decades old, fixing leaks in the roof, adding security cameras and other non-controversial projects for which we do not have funding.

The MLO does in fact raise our property taxes. For a home valued at about $470,000/year you’ll see a property tax increase of roughly $17/month. To put that in perspective I pay $19/month for my Hulu and Netflix subscriptions. In exchange for that investment we can pay teachers a professional wage so they don’t leave Douglas County Schools for other districts that pay appropriately, we can fund STEM classes and extracurricular programs, and we can rest easier knowing our children are getting the education they need to thrive.

I also want to make one critical point since no one relishes new taxes. If our schools are able to compete with neighboring districts, we will see a corresponding rise in our own home values as our district becomes a more attractive place to raise a family or start a business. That’s why 5A & 5B are an investment: you will get a return on your investment, not just sink money into a government program as other taxes might.

5A & 5B are not a partisan measure. They shouldn’t be an issue only for parents in Douglas County either, investing in schools helps our entire community and benefits us whether we have a student in our home or not.

That’s why I’m asking every voter in Douglas County to support 5A & 5B when they vote in the coming weeks.

-Barrett Rothe

Barrett Rothe