Tag Archives: mill levy

Pennsylvania's New School Board Transparency Site Gives Good Ideas

I get excited to see the ball move forward even a little bit on the issue of school district transparency. Whether it’s the district’s checkbook or its union bargaining sessions, this kind of information should be easily accessible to parents and other taxpayers through the Internet. Our friends in Pennsylvania, the Commonwealth Foundation, have launched the latest noteworthy effort (H/T SPN Blog): As part of a year-long campaign to provide greater transparency in school district labor negotiations, the Commonwealth Foundation has unveiled a new website and blog, SchoolBoardTransparency.org. SchoolBoardTransparency.org will offer insight and advice in the labor negotiations process for school boards and citizens. The site will provide regular posts on issues, news, and best practices in school district labor negotiations, and allows users to comment and create posts on a moderated blog. The project will also include a “how-to” manual for school board members looking to provide greater transparency during union negotiations and a resource for media covering public school labor negotiations. The guides will provide the important questions to ask and explain the key issues typically involved in labor negotiation contracts. Besides its regular blog-style updates, School Board Transparency also provides more effective school districts with praise and […]


More School Tax Money for Big Salaries, Evicting Granny, & "Socialist Utopia"?

A couple weeks ago I said that voters in Jefferson County need clearer information to decide the expensive school funding proposals on their ballot this year. This isn’t exactly what I meant. Here is part of the “Pro” argument in the official voters guide for the Jeffco 3A property tax mill levy increase: Taxes should be increased $34 million annually by a mill levy of 4.4 mills. Past increases have not resulted in the desired student performance improvement and a greater infusion of funds is required. Compared to other professions and trades, teachers are poorly paid and hopefully beginning salaries in the six-digit range can be offered within three or four years. Senior citizens with fixed incomes are hard-pressed to shoulder increases in property tax. These people should recognize that their reduced productivity calls for them to be replaced by the youth of our nation. This measure calls for some of the property taxes to be earmarked for: “Expanding options for career job skills and technical training to prepare students for today’s work world.” Half of these should be committed to the following: Seniors on fixed incomes, to whom this school tax is burdensome, need training, as well as compassion. […]


Just Giving Jeffco Schools The Money They Ask for Won't Fix the Problem

Update: Pam let me know that a couple things quoted from her interview with 9News weren’t quite right. So I’ve marked them below. Yesterday, Education Policy Center Director Pam Benigno spoke out about a proposal to raise school property taxes in Jefferson County: “Well, I think this is definitely not a good time,” said Pam Benigno, director of the Education Policy Center within the Independence Institute. The Independence Institute is a Golden-based, non-partisan government watchdog group. Benigno says the homeowner should not have to shoulder the burden of JeffCo’s increasing costs. “I think that this is, this is too much,” said Benigno. “However, the system is the problem. They will always need more money.” Benigno claims that while attending a meeting on the 2004 bond election [it was actually many years before that], a district staffer told her JeffCo plans on a bond issue or mill levy increase once every four or five years. “As a citizen of Jefferson County, that really makes me uncomfortable to know that they’re planning on raising my taxes every five years,” said Benigno. “And, this time, this has been only four years.” Benigno says the district should take a hard look at the way […]