Voters in 29 Colorado school districts will decide on about $1 billion of bonds and property tax increases in the Nov. 6 election. Districts that planned to seek bonds or tax overrides were required to notify their county clerks by Friday.
Denver Public Schools’ $466 million bond proposal accounts for nearly half of the statewide total and represents the largest school bond authorization in state history.
Other large districts in the suburbs of Denver are also seeking bonds, tax overrides or a combination.
Jefferson County Schools west of Denver is seeking a combined $149 million bond issue and an operating increase. Cherry Creek School District is seeking $125 million of debt for building upgrades and $25 million in tax overrides to compensate for budget cuts. Neighboring Aurora Public Schools is asking voters for a $15 million override to partially offset state cuts.
The total of the proposed bond issues is about $862 million, including $95 million in requests from 13 districts seeking matching money to win state Building Excellent Schools Today grants.
Proposals for operating increases are nearly $150 million. Most of the districts say they need additional revenue to cover some portion of the state budget cuts of recent years.
Last year, more than 30 districts proposed tax increases, but voters approved only $73 million of the more than $560 million proposed.
In 2010, voters approved $595.8 million in bonds and operating increases and rejected only $142.5 million worth.