Ballot measure 3E is a small sacrifice to make | AspenTimes.com

Ballot measure 3E is a small sacrifice to make

Dear Editor:

In 2005 my wife and I moved to this valley because we felt that Carbondale and the surrounding area provided a strong community in which to raise our children. Our schools are critical, nurturing all of our children.

Unfortunately, our state does not nurture our schools. According to the Tax Foundation, our tax burden is 8.6 percent of income (2009), 39th nationally. My cousins in New Hampshire and Vermont will tell you that our property taxes are a pittance. This leads to a state budget that is woefully inadequate to educate future generations. Colorado spends $1,781 less per pupil (2008-2009) than the national average and is ranked 40th as a result.

After $5.1 million in cuts, our school district is left with few reasonable choices. The district has cut 15 teachers, 60 non-teaching positions, eliminated spending to update textbooks, drastically reduced spending on materials, and delayed maintenance and upkeep projects on infrastructure that we only a few years ago elected to build. In addition, teachers have taken furlough days and not seen their salaries increase.

In a down economy we all need to do more with less, but this logic means our children suffer. They lose critical years of education as teachers are faced with ever larger classes, equipment fails, and materials are unavailable or outdated. Perhaps most damaging is the potential exodus of our most critical asset, as teachers are forced to consider jobs in other nearby districts whose voters have made additional financial commitments to their districts allowing for increases to teacher pay and benefits.

Vote for Our Kids, Jill Beathard 9/22/11 Why all the caps? ask our community to pay $36 per $100,000 in home value at a time when dramatic property devaluations mean you’ll still pay less property taxes than you would otherwise have paid last year. Voting for Our Kids means keeping schools open, seeing football on Friday nights and maintaining a top-notch teaching staff. My wife and I care deeply about this community and recognize that schools are integral to its appeal. We are Voting for Our Kids. Yes on 3E!

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Matt and Jen Hamilton

Carbondale