DPS Board of Education Moves to Ask Voters to Approve Bond and Mill Levy in November

Aug. 20, 2020

Funds Would Be Used for School Maintenance, Nursing Services and Mental Health

DENVER – The Denver Public Schools Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to place bond and mill levy proposals on the November 2020 ballot. Denver voters will be asked to consider two measures: one that would provide $795 million in bond funding to build and maintain schools, and a second request, a “Debt Free Schools” ballot initiative, that would provide $32 million in school-based investments in priorities such as mental health, nursing, and special education supports.

A citizens’ committee of 75 community members, teachers, parents and students thoroughly deliberated and prioritized potential investments. The committee met over the course of five months to evaluate and determine funding for students’ needs. The committee presented its final set of recommendations in June.

Included in the funding proposal:

Debt Free Schools (Mill Levy):

  • Compensation: $15 million would be allocated for DPS employees, including an increase in minimum wage to $14.77 per hour and cost of living increases for teachers.
  • Mental health: a $3 million investment would increase school counselor and psychologist services, providing much-needed support to students.
  • Nursing: A $4 million investment in nursing services, with the goal of increasing the number of schools with a full-time nurse on staff.
  • Special education services: A $2 million investment in some of DPS’ most vulnerable students will increase supports and services within special education programs, including more paraprofessionals and speech language pathologists.

Bond Measure:

  • Maintenance: $208 million to update and maintain existing DPS facilities.
  • Capacity: $65 million to address ongoing capacity needs, including new schools in growing parts of Denver.
  • Cooling: $128.5 million for air conditioning in 24 of DPS’s hottest school buildings.
  • Montbello Campus: $130 million would be invested in a rebuild or remodel of the former Montbello High School.
  • Technology: $65 million for expanded student access to Chromebooks and at-home internet, and increased school safety measures.
  • School-determined funds: $31.7 million in flexible funding would be distributed to 135 buildings serving 74,000 students for investments in key learning spaces such as classrooms, cafeterias, playgrounds, libraries, gyms and auditoriums.

To learn more about the DPS bond and mill levy, visit