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Facts support need for tax increase for Jeffco Schools
I applaud your efforts to examine both sides of voting issues 3A and 3B for Jefferson County Schools. However, misleading information has emerged, in some headlines, article tone, and through a few individuals at Board of Education meetings.
1. The retirement funds or PERA for Jeffco Schools staff already are budgeted, and will be removed from district funds regardless if 3A and 3B are passed, said Superintendent Cindy Stevenson at a recent board meeting.  
Some opponents mistakenly have said $20 million of $39 million generated by 3A would fund retirement. This is not true.
2. Eighty percent of Jeffco students scored proficient and advanced in reading on Transitional Colorado Assessment Program tests. Of the remaining 20 percent, 15 percent can read, but are still developing skills and have not yet reached third-grade standards. Only 5 percent cannot read, contrary to statements made by a few individuals at board meetings.
3. The district is NOT top-heavy in administrators. Of 12,000 employees, only 388 are administrators. Of that group, 255 are principals or assistant principals, who directly connect with students. That leaves 133 administrators who work at the Education Center. Of that 133, 40 supervise the vast technical network in Jeffco. Most of the remaining employees are teachers and support staff, who invest in our children.
4. Stevenson and district financial officers have maintained high standards in financial management, despite economic hardship. Standard and Poors has rated the district AA -minus, and Moody ranks the district AA2. These financial groups said the district is “stable and responsible,” despite its need to slice $63 million from its budget in the last three years.
Jeffco voters, educate yourselves through www.SupportJeffcoSchools.com. Thousands of Jeffco citizens have banded together to support students and staff, and preserve the district’s high academic standards. Will you be one of them? Vote yes on bond/mill issues 3A and 3B.
Beth Steigerwalt