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Letter to the editor: Claims of district's demise not true


The current Douglas County School Board, yes, the one with the much-criticized "reform" majority, has saved us taxpayers $21 million of our hard-earned bucks in the last two years according to a June article in this publication. How? Mostly by eliminating a bunch of administrative positions, which means anyone carping that the board spends too much on admin is dead wrong. Here's a wake-up for those constantly bashing charter schools saying they "drain" district funding: none of our charters get district or taxpayer funding to build their schools! 

Dedicated charter boards, who are parents and private citizens (for-profit groups cannot by Colorado law start a charter school), after an extensive process of getting school board approval must go hat in hand to banks and other lenders with financial packages, just like any of us getting a mortgage. So surprise, surprise charters (which are public, neighborhood schools, remember) actually save the district (and all of us) actual money. Lots of it! Think of the schools we would have to build if they didn't exist! 

I am sick of this charter school and candidate bashing and people accusing DougCo education of going downhill. Chew on this: our four-year graduation rates are 90.1 percent (state average is only 78.9, better than JeffCo, 82.8, and Cherry Creek, 88.1.  Test scores are up in most areas (see the recent article in this publication) - DCSD's average SAT score is 1,086.9, way above the state average and again higher than JeffCo and Cherry Creek. 

There's lots to like about the "Elevate" candidates. Their dedication to fiscal responsibility, a second-to-none education and our kids' future are sure some of the big reasons I'm voting to Elevate DougCo with Randy Mills, Ryan Abresch, Debora Scheffel, and Grant Nelson. 

R.J. O'Connor



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