As a local business owner, I know that all employers in our area are currently having difficulty filling positions due to the tight job market. The Roaring Fork School District is one of the biggest (and biggest) employers in our valley, but it is unable to raise wages to competitive levels unless we vote Yes on 5B, the overrun of the factory tax during the November 2 ballot. I fully support 5B because it will help our local schools recruit and retain the exceptional teachers and staff our children deserve. RFSD has the third highest cost of living of any school district in Colorado, but it ranks 23rd in average salaries.
We, as a community, must support our schools and teachers. Our children are our greatest achievement and we need to make sure they receive a quality education. It begins and ends with us. No one wants more taxes, but neither can we afford to make our children pay the price of not being able to keep teachers because they cannot afford to live here.
If we can all see the value of a small sacrifice now, over time we can see what it pays into our children’s education. 5B will cost the average homeowner less than $ 15 / month, but lead to big pay increases where they’re needed most. District leaders are excluded from these increases.
I am one of the founders of the Glenwood Education Foundation, which raises funds to support schools beyond their annual budgets, but fundraising is not the solution to the staff crisis in our schools. The district has already allocated every available dollar to staff salaries, but it is not enough to pay a living wage. Vote yes on 5B to make sure our schools have the great teachers and staff our children deserve.
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