Letter: 5A will benefit South Routt community
As a parent of a Soroco School District high school senior, I have witnessed Soroco School District innovatively “do more with less” for the last 12 years.
At the same time, the district has achieved accreditation with distinction and is ranked fifth academically of the 1818 school districts in Colorado. Soroco offers high quality preschool, full day kindergarten, excellent music, art and physical education programs and successful athletic teams. Yet, the district struggles to pay its teachers competitive salaries, and I have seen young, excellent educators spend a year or two in South Routt before moving on to higher paying positions.
The district also maintains a transportation fleet using buses where the newest one is vintage 2009, and buses are maintained and utilized with mileage as high as 400,000, providing transportation across wide geographic boundaries.
The district maintains three different school buildings in two different towns, with expenses reflecting our environment — significant snow removal and heating costs. These buildings need maintenance upgrades including new carpet and flooring, road improvements, asbestos mitigation, completion of roof replacements and improved heating systems. Our athletic field pales in comparison to other districts. Soroco cannot host track meets because the track is not standard, and opposing football teams have no stands for viewing the games.
Our seven-member school board of community members oversee the budget to ensure available funds go towards the highest district needs for students, however costs continue to increase, school facilities and technology need modernization, and staff salaries continue to lag others in Northwest Colorado, the state and the nation. While not raising taxes, the monies from extending the current levy will go towards increasing staff salaries and providing needed upgrades to facilities, transportation and technology.
High performing school districts improve the community property values. It is in the best interest of our community to vote “yes” to this initiative that does not raise taxes. Please support our children and our community by voting “yes” on 5A.
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