5B needed to support, retain RFSD teachers | AspenTimes.com

5B needed to support, retain RFSD teachers

As a local business owner, I know that every employer in our region is currently struggling to fill positions due to the tight labor market. The Roaring Fork School District is one of our valley’s largest (and most important) employers, but is unable to raise wages to competitive levels unless we vote Yes on 5B, the mill levy override on the Nov. 2 ballot. I fully support 5B because it will help our local schools recruit and retain the outstanding teachers and staff that our children deserve. RFSD has the third-highest cost of living of all school districts in Colorado, but is 23rd in average salaries.

We, as a community, need to support our schools and our teachers. Our children are our greatest accomplishment and we need to make sure they are getting a quality education. It starts and ends with us. No one wants higher taxes, but we also can’t afford to have our children pay the price of not being able to keep teachers around because they can’t afford to live here.

If we can all see the value of a small sacrifice now, we can see over time what that pays back in our children’s education. 5B will cost the average homeowner less than $15/month but will lead to significant pay raises where they’re needed most. District leadership is excluded from these raises.

I am a founder of the Glenwood Education Foundation, which raises money to support schools above and beyond their annual budgets, but fundraisers aren’t the solution to the staffing crisis in our schools. The district has already allocated every available dollar to staff salaries, but it’s not enough to pay a living wage. Vote yes on 5B to ensure that our schools have the great teachers and staff that our kids deserve.

Michael Picore

Glenwood Springs

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