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In this month's issue: intersessions, school funding explained, and more.
In this month's issue: intersessions, school funding explained, and more.
School District 51 Parent Newsletter | September 2015
Colorado school funding history
Below, a brief timeline of significant laws and actions that impacted school funding in the state and School District 51.
1982 - Gallagher Amendment
Sets local commercial and residential property tax assess-ment rates. Learn more here.
1992 - The Taxpayer's Bill of Rights requires voter approval for school property tax increases.
2000 - Amendment 23
Colorado education funding per student hovered near the national average throughout the 1980s before consistently trailing the national average throughout the following decade. Amendment 23 endeavored to get Colorado education funding back on track with the national average by increasing K-12 funding at the same pace as inflation each year. Instead, the state fell farther than ever behind the national average. Learn more here.
2005 - Referendum C allows state to keep revenue over TABOR limits, yields little during recession.
2009 - Negative Factor
The Negative Factor has syphoned more than $5 billion from Colorado school districts since 2009. More than $115 million of that total has been plucked from School District 51 alone. Find out more here.
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How districts use bonds, overrides and COPs
Bond measures, mill levy overrides, and certificates of participation offer school districts ways to secure needed funds outside the state’s school funding formula. These methods help districts build schools, update technology, and invest in operations. Learn how each method works here.
Please take our quick, two minute survey. Click below.
Performance-based Learning Survey
Moving education forward with   a backwards bike
Children’s minds adapt quickly to new lessons thanks to brain plasticity. The video above shows how brain plasticity affects a person’s ability to ride a “backwards bike” that reverses handlebar operations. Below, R-5 teachers try out a locally made backwards bike at a recent school celebration.
New R-5/TOC building update
Certificates of Participation have been issued to pay for construction of a new alternative high school building at 2150 Grand Ave. The estimated $8.8 million project will include separate wings for The Opportunity Center and R-5 High connected by administration offices for both schools.
R-5’s 90-year-old building at 310 N. Seventh St. has been sold to the Downtown Development Authority. The Opportunity Center currently rents space at 1129 Colorado Ave. Both schools are scheduled to open in the new facility in August 2016.
October Intersessions Week is Oct. 5-9. While some students will take a Fall Break, others will be invited to catch up on concepts taught during the first quarter of the school year. 
This is the second year of October Intersessions in District 51. The balanced calendar offers students a chance to master concepts they have struggled to understand this quarter so they can enter the remainder of the school year ready to build on their knowledge.
District 51 budget: sources, spending, shortages
Though extremely complex in detail, staff, parents, and the community can understand district finances by knowing how we’re funded, where we spend our funding, and where we come up short. Sources, spending, and shortages – these ideas clarify understanding. The 300-plus page Adopted Budget Book covers these topics in exacting detail. Continue reading here.
Coffee with the School Board
Please join us for an informal Coffee with the School Board from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 12 in the west ballroom at the Colorado Mesa University Center (second floor). Board members will be available to answer questions about District 51 and what's new in education. Free coffee and pastries will be served. RSVP to Terri Wells at 254-5193 or
Events for the whole family
Sept. 15: Grand Valley Marching Band Extravaganza, 7:30 p.m., Stocker Stadium
Sept. 26: Colorado West Marching Band Festival, parade 10 a.m., downtown Grand Junction; field show 12:30 p.m., Stocker Stadium
Oct. 2: Inaugural game of the Glacier Yetis junior hockey team,  7 p.m., Glacier Ice Arena 
Oct. 10-11: GJ Air Show, Grand Junction Regional Airport 
Q: What can a school district fund using certificates of participation?
A: Anything from construction to equipment, as long as the amount does not exceed the value of all district property. Districts also are limited by how much money they can spare in their existing budgets to pay off COPs, as no new revenue sources come with COPs.
Email your question for Q&A to
School District 51 is "Thinking of the Future"
In just five years, 75 percent of jobs in Colorado will require some level of post-secondary education. All career fields will call for excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to adapt to rapidly evolving technology. District 51 is transforming to equip today's students with the skills needed for tomorrow's workforce.
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