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Publish Date: 3/17/2005

Committee will review mill-levy override push
Panel to determine St. Vrain district’s needs


LONGMONT — The St. Vrain Valley School District has formed a 23-member community board to review the district’s needs for a second mill-levy override push in November.

The Mill-Levy Override Community Review Committee is made up of two parents or community members from each of the high school feeder systems; one retiree; two businesspeople, one from Longmont and one from Firestone; two teachers; two administrators; and two classified staff members.

Two school board members will act as liaisons to the committee but will not be voting members.

School board president Sandi Searls said that many committee members responded to a solicitation in area newspapers to join the group and others were recommended by school principals and community leaders.

The new committee is organized like the Community Bond Review Committee, the group formed after the 2001 school bond failed. The group was integral in getting the 2002 school bond passed.

“One of the things that is important is to continue to build involvement in our schools, to hear different perspectives and to strengthen that connection between the district and out into our communities,” Searls said.

Most of the committee members are “new faces,” she said, who have never served on a school district committee.

Jill Parker, one of the two representatives from the Tri-Town area, said she got involved after the principal at Frederick Elementary School recommended her as a candidate.

The mother of a kindergartner, Parker said she wants the people in her area to “understand what (the mill-levy override) is all about, what it can accomplish and how it will drastically affect the future.”

The committee’s first meeting, which was held Monday, was informational, she said. Members learned how schools are funded through the state, Amendment 23 and taxpayers.

“We can’t get any more money from (Amendment) 23 or the state right now,” Parker said. “So we need to go to the people.”

Parker said she realizes St. Vrain has “had its problems,” but “we need to look past that now.”

She added that it is the schools, teachers and students who are suffering because of the lack of funds and “kids have enough challenges. They need up-to-date textbooks and technologies and to find the best educators we can have.”

The committee will meet through the first week of May and come up with an outline of what they believe should be funded through a mill-levy override. They will then present the outline to community groups in Boulder and Weld counties and come up with a final recommendation for the school board at its June 1 work session.

Paula Aven Gladych can be reached at 303-684-5211, or by e-mail at pavengladych@times-call.com.

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