Julie Warnke: Vote ‘yes’ on 2B | SteamboatToday.com

Julie Warnke: Vote ‘yes’ on 2B

Constituents of Steamboat Springs, I urge you to vote “yes” on 2B this November.

Can you believe that a mere 5 cents for every $10 spent in Steamboat Springs for the last 25 years has amassed $57.5 million dollars for our local schools? It’s true.

Voting “yes” on Referendum 2B will allow us to continue to support education in Steamboat Springs and our surrounding districts. The Education Fund Board is the organization responsible for distributing the funds from this tax, which goes directly to our community public schools.

In recent years, the fund has been expanded to support local nonprofit organizations that also help serve the needs of our growing student population. The board carefully and thoughtfully considers each fund request through a competitive grant process.

Since 1993, the half-cent sales tax has not only been supporting small class sizes by funding teachers, it also provides grants for innovative programming, technology improvements and infrastructure for our aging facilities. The board includes vested community members, as well as representatives from local school districts. I have profound trust that our board makes critical and sound decisions to facilitate the great work our schools do.

When I first came to the Steamboat Springs School District to teach in 2000, I was amazed and impressed by the community’s commitment to education through this innovative funding strategy. In my 18 years of teaching here, I have been witness to and benefactor of the direct and positive impacts of the funding.

We have been better able to serve our English language learners with more teachers and creative programming, given advanced learners the opportunity to participate in enrichment activities, given all of our students unparalleled access to technology with new Chrome books, secured small class sizes in the K-2 classrooms, obtained 3-D TV and lessons for science classes at the middle school, provided funding for students to attend Science Camp and Junior Achievement trips to Denver, increased student access to mental health care and so much more.

As a mother, teacher and citizen, I assure you that these funds are critical to meet the growing needs of our students, and prepare them for the future. Currently, 10 percent of our district budget is reliant upon these funds.

In order to sustain our culture of excellence, please join me in voting for Referendum 2B.


Julie Warnke

Steamboat Springs

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