On Tuesday, Nov. 3, Denver voters approved bond and mill funding measures for students in Denver Public Schools, agreeing to invest $795 million in bond funding to build and improve schools and $32 million in operating dollars for increased student and staff support. The ballot measures passed with 73.83% (4A) and 79.5.% (4B) approval, according to unofficial election results posted on Wednesday, Nov. 4.
“We are thrilled that the Denver Public Schools Bond and Mill Levy measures were both approved by our voters in Denver with the largest margin since 1990.” said Superintendent Susana Cordova. “With the passing of measures 4A and 4B, we can provide critical resources, including full time nurses, technology investments, and air conditioning to more of our schools during a time when funding is desperately needed. The support of these measures demonstrate that DPS is a central part of our community. I am grateful Denver voters showed overwhelming support for our students and staff.”
The bond and mill proposals were created by a 75-member citizens’ committee, with input from school leaders, teachers, students and community members. The committee presented their proposal to the Board of Education in June, and board members accepted their recommendation to place the funding package before voters.
Among the specifics in the voter-approved measures:
- New Capacity and Improved Learning Environments: $65 million to address ongoing capacity needs, including new schools in growing parts of Denver and $31.7 million in flexible funding for 135 buildings to invest in key learning spaces such as classrooms, cafeterias, playgrounds, libraries, gyms and auditoriums.
- Montbello Campus: A $130 million investment into a rebuild or remodel of the former Montbello High School
- Classroom Cooling: $128.5 million for air conditioning and cooling solutions in 24 of the hottest schools in DPS.
- Increased Nursing and Mental Health Staff: A $3 million investment to increase school counselor and psychologist services and $4 million to support an increase in full-time nurses in schools.
- Compensation Increases: A $15 million allocation for DPS employees, including an increase in minimum wage to $14.77 per hour and a cost-of-living increase for teachers.
- General Fund Relief $36.5 million that will help mitigate the budget shortfall the district is experiencing due to the economic impact of COVID-19.