Education Matters: group campaigns for D51 funding

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MESA COUNTY, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- "It will be less than a Netflix subscription," said Kelly Flenniken, Citizens for School District 51 Chair.

She’s talking about how much a mill levy and a bond issue would actually cost the average resident of Mesa County.

"The bond issue is $118.5 million," said Flenniken. "The mill levy is separate from that 6 and a half million dollars a year for what the board has put out as a 10 year sunset," she added.

She’s the Chair of Citizens for School District 51.

They’re made up of, "…business owners, parents, interested citizens," said Flenniken.

Flenniken explains where the approved funds would come from "Two-hundred thousand dollars, which is our median home value, it will be nine dollars and eighty-nine cents a month," said Flenniken.

And where the group intends for it to go, "We have some books that list Bill Clinton as the last president," said Flenniken.

Flenniken says there are some singular projects that need immediate attention, but they would cost more than an entire annual maintenance budget.
“Rebuilding Orchard Mesa Middle school, conducting priority one maintenance items; that's replacing roofs and HVAC systems," said Flenniken.

If you’re wondering how things got so bad Flenniken has an answer for that too.
"We haven't provided a mill levy override or a bond since 2004," said Flenniken.

She says the district is also short on funding because of how our state funds compared to the rest of the U.S.
"We receive one thousand, eight hundred and seventy-two dollars less in Colorado per pupil," said Flenniken.

She says Mesa County gets even less, but thinks her group can reach their goal.

"We believe it's affordable," said Flenniken.

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