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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

ON 5A & 5B

Learn more about 5A & 5B by scrolling through these Questions and Answers, including video answers from Philip Qualman, Eagle County School District Superintendent.

  • What is special about the Eagle County School District?
    The Eagle County School District provides a well-rounded, comprehensive, and innovative educational opportunity for all students PK through 12. Teaching core subjects to the highest standards, offering programs in art, music, and technology as well as athletics, clubs, and experiential opportunities in our beautiful Eagle County environment creates a vibrant learning experience in our schools. Innovative career and technical education programs provide students with opportunities to explore and gain experience in career pathways prior to graduation. Strong community partnerships with organizations like Walking Mountains Science Center and YouthPower365 enrich and expand learning experiences for even our youngest learners. Learn more on the Eagle County School District website.
  • What does voting yes for 5A and 5B mean for our schools?
    Voting yes for 5A will support recruiting and retaining teachers and staff, enhanced school safety and security, additional mental health support for students and programs such as art, music, technology and physical education. Voting yes for 5B will enable ECSD to build critically needed employee housing and expand early childhood care and education facilities to serve young families in our community. These investments are needed in our schools, for our kids, and for our community. Learn more Ballot Questions
  • What happens if 5A and 5B do not pass with voter approval on November 7?
    Districts around the state are making very tough budgetary choices due to lack of funding. They must choose between offering competitive salaries to attract and retain teachers, reducing the number of school days per week to cut operational costs, cutting programs like art, music, and physical education, and reducing partnership programs that offer innovative programming for students. The Eagle County School District wants to continue providing 5 school days per week unlike many districts in Colorado who have reduced their programs to 4 days per week. The district wants to remain in the top 10 school districts for teacher salaries to continue to recruit and retain the best teachers. And programs like art, music, technology, and physical education are critical in providing a well-rounded educational experience for our students. Learn more Why Now?
  • With the substantial increase in property values in Eagle County, does the school district get a windfall of revenue from the increased property taxes?
    No, ECSD does not receive a windfall from increased assessed property values, but will benefit from the overall increase in property tax collections due to the increase in property values. ECSD has an opportunity with voter approval this November 2023 to benefit from Eagle County’s increased assessed property values to fund the mill levy opportunity and finance building employee housing and early childcare education facilities without incrementally adding to property taxes. Because education funding in Colorado is capped by the School Finance Act and its complicated formula, ECSD will reduce its mill levy next year to stay within the requirements of capped funding. Learn more about the Tax Impact for a full explanation.
  • How do these two ballot questions, 5A and 5B, impact my taxes?
    As an example, a $1M home in 2023, is now valued at $1,450,000 due to the average increase in residential assessed value of 45% across Eagle County. With the approval of 5A and 5B, this homeowner will pay $505 more in property taxes to ECSD in 2024 than they did in 2023. This is just $178 more per year than they would pay without the approval of 5A and 5B, or just $15 more per month. For a relatively small incremental amount of property taxes, ECSD will have the funds to do all the things promised for 5A and 5B. Property taxes are increasing no matter what in 2024, and will only increase $15 more per month for this example homeowner with 5A and 5B approval, than without. Learn more about the Tax Impact for a full explanation.
  • Does the public have oversight over the Eagle County School District finances?
    Yes, ECSD is required by the state to provide visibility and transparency of its finances and financial reporting for the public. The district’s budget, financial records, and reporting are posted on the district’s website with full transparency. The community participates in the decision-making about those finances through the ECSD Financial Oversight Committee. Learn more.
  • Why should I vote for 5A?
    Public education in Colorado has always been underfunded when compared to the rest of the country, and this is not changing anytime soon. To compensate for insufficient funding from the state level, school districts rely on their local communities to provide necessary funding through voter-approved property tax-generated investments in local schools. The nationwide shortage of qualified teachers has impacted every school district, including the Eagle County School District (ECSD). Retaining and attracting quality teachers and staff is especially challenging for ECSD because of the cost of living and lack of affordable housing. 5A will help ECSD compete for quality teachers and staff by increasing salaries and benefits, enabling the district to retain and recruit the best and brightest teachers and staff. $3 million of 5A funding will go to increasing teacher and staff salaries to keep ECSD salaries competitive with other school districts across the state and country. Funds from 5A will not be used to increase compensation for senior district administrators. The cost of living in Eagle County makes it difficult for teachers to stay here when other districts in the Front Range are offering higher salaries. ECSD wants to stay in the top 10 of the 178 school districts in Colorado for teacher pay to keep the quality teachers we already have and attract more of the best teachers to our schools. School safety and security are a key priority, as is providing much needed student mental health services and counseling supports to ensure the success of every child. ECSD is completing an assessment of its safety and security protocols across the district and based on the recommendations of this study, 5A will enhance the safety and security for schools and classrooms. 5A will also provide immense value to students and staff and help address ongoing challenges following the pandemic. Programs and services dedicated to pandemic recovery need additional funding. 5A will provide critical student support services including mental health counseling, suicide prevention programs, and intervention specialists to work with students. 5A will also allow the district to maintain and expand programs including art, music, technology, and physical education improving academic performance opportunities and preparing students for college, entering the workforce, and to be well rounded successful individuals with bright futures. ECSD has an opportunity to benefit from Eagle County’s increased assessed property values to fund the mill levy opportunity and finance building employee housing and early childcare education facilities without incrementally adding to property taxes. ECSD does not receive a windfall from increased assessed property values but will benefit from the overall increase in property tax collections due to the increase in property values. In fact, because education funding in Colorado is capped by the School Finance Act and its complicated formula, ECSD will need to reduce its mill levy next year by 2 mills to stay within the requirements of capped funding. Voter approval of both 5A and 5B does not create an increase in the total mill levy paid to ECSD.
  • Why should I vote for 5B?
    5B asks voters to approve a $100 million bond – a method of debt financing – to invest in capital projects. 5B provides the Eagle County School District (ECSD) with needed funds to build more employee housing, make safety and security improvements at local schools, build a new early learning center in Gypsum and expand existing programs, and complete other maintenance and improvements at local schools including updating playgrounds, gyms, locker rooms, and athletic facilities. ​ Affordable housing is linked to the ability to recruit and retain quality teachers and staff. Finding affordable housing is a question new employees think about before deciding to accept a position and move to the school district. This fall, ECSD is finishing construction of Miller Flats, located next to Battle Mountain High School. They had 150 employees apply for the development’s 37 units. Building new affordable housing helps the district be more competitive in what they have to offer employees and makes ECSD more attractive to the quality educators we want and need to bring to our community. ​ 5B increases childcare and preschool programs to support families in our community. Access to safe childcare services and preschool helps prepare our young children to enter Kindergarten ready to learn at grade level. The Gypsum area has seen growth in more young families and these families need safe and quality childcare and preschool facilities for their children to attend. If families know their children have a great place to go for childcare and preschool, then they are able to go to work and contribute to our local economy. 5B will allow ECSD to expand early childhood education and childcare services by building an early learning center in Gypsum and expanding capacity at the Edwards Early Learning Center. ​ Every year we hear of more violence and safety issues in schools, and every school district considers safety a top priority. ECSD must also maintain its current facilities and have funds for improvements to keep our school buildings running efficiently and safely. 5B provides funds to replace, update, or repair roofs, HVAC, playgrounds, gyms, locker rooms, and athletic facilities which will improve learning environments and extend the useful life of existing facilities. ​ ECSD has an opportunity to benefit from Eagle County’s increased assessed property values to fund the mill levy opportunity and finance building employee housing and early childcare education facilities without incrementally adding to property taxes. ECSD does not receive a windfall from increased assessed property values but will benefit from the overall increase in property tax collections due to the increase in property values. In fact, because education funding in Colorado is capped by the School Finance Act and its complicated formula, ECSD will need to reduce its mill levy next year by 2 mills to stay within the requirements of capped funding. Voter approval of both 5A and 5B does not create an increase in the total mill levy paid to ECSD. ​
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