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Denver Public Schools moves to ask voters for money on November ballot

The DPS Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to place bond and mill levy proposals on the November 2020 ballot.

DENVER — Denver voters will be asked to approve a bond and mill levy proposal for Denver Public Schools (DPS) on the November 2020 ballot. 

The DPS Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to place the bond and mill package on the ballot that will ask voters to consider two measures. 

One is $795 million in bond funding to build and maintain schools and a second, a "Debt Free Schools" ballot initiative that would provide $32 million in school-based investments in priorities such as teacher compensation, mental health, nursing and special education supports.  

The teacher compensation included in the mill levy would allocate $15 million for DPS employees, including an increase in the minimum wage to $14.77 an hour and cost of living increases for teachers. 

The proposed bond measure would help schools with maintenance, capacity, air conditioning, technology, a rebuild or remodel of the Montbello High School campus and $31.7 million in school funds to invest in key learning spaces like classrooms, cafeterias, playgrounds, libraries, gyms and auditoriums. 

A citizens’ committee of 75 community members, teachers, parents and students thoroughly deliberated and prioritized potential investments. 

The committee met to evaluate and determine funding for students’ needs and presented its final set of recommendations to the school board in June.

The last time voters approved a bond and mill funding measure for DPS was in 2016. Voters approved $572 million in bond funding to build and improve school buildings and $56.6 million in operating dollars to support proven initiatives such as early literacy and social-emotional supports.

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