Information about MyDCSD Funding Needs Presentation

MyDCSD Future Funding Presentation

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Families,

Tomorrow evening we will host Douglas County Superintendent Erin Kane in our Elementary Cafeteria starting at 6:30 p.m., alongside Interim KOSON CEO Dr. Karen Johnson and STEM Executive Director LynAnn Kovalesky, for a presentation on the proposal for a Bond/Mill Levy on the November ballot.

Mrs. Kane will speak about the information contained in her letter below, while Dr. Johnson and Ms. Kovalesky will speak about how STEM is funded, what the current landscape of funding looks like for STEM staff and how this issue would help retain our highly-qualified teachers.

Please park in the Elementary School parking lot and enter through the Elementary School Doors. If you cannot make it, we will have a Zoom Webinar available. Click here to access it (Passcode: 937041).

Below is a message Mrs. Kane sent to DCSD Families last week:

As you may know, funding is a significant challenge for our district. Due to significant local funding differences (we have almost $2K less per student compared to Cherry Creek School District, for example), we are not able to pay our valued staff (teachers, support staff, school leaders – everyone) competitively with other districts. Additionally, new schools and capital needs for our existing schools are funded locally (not by the state).

On Tuesday, my Cabinet and I presented to the Board of Education our recommendations for a $60 million Mill Levy Override (MLO) and a $450 million Bond to be placed on the ballot in November. And on Wednesday, I hosted a virtual forum for staff where I outlined what was presented to the Board and answered questions.

If you want, click here to watch the entire presentation to the Board. If you have any questions or feedback regarding our recommendations for a Mill Levy Override and Bond, please complete this short form.

Below is a summary of our recommendations. The impact on taxpayers if both initiatives pass will be a tax increase of $1 per week per $100K of home value (based on the Douglas County Assessor’s home value). This tax will NOT increase as home values increase (in fact it will decrease as the impact is spread over more homes).

  • A $60 million MLO would enable DCSD to provide pay that is more competitive with other school districts so we can retain our wonderful teachers and staff. In our presentation to the Board, we walked through exactly what our employees could expect to receive in terms of compensation increases, should an MLO pass. DCSD teachers, on average, would receive a 9% pay increase. Click here to view the salary schedules for our teachers and other licensed staff should an MLO pass. Of course, our many other employees deserve more competitive pay as well. Those staff would also see a pay increase, should an MLO pass. For example, our classified staff which includes positions such as bus drivers, educational assistants, custodians, etc. would receive a flat 9% increase, and other staff including our school principals and assistant principals would receive a 6% pay increase.
  • A $450 million Bond would help DCSD construct three new neighborhood elementary schools and create additions to existing middle schools to reduce crowding and plan for growth. It would also assist us in updating and repairing our school buildings to provide safe, efficient, quality learning environments for students and staff. Click here to review our comprehensive Bond plan and here to see exactly what each of our existing schools would receive should a Bond pass.

Additional information about DCSD’s needs and how our school district is funded can be found on our website at

We hope to see you tomorrow evening for this very special event.

Thank you,

Nicole Bostel, Communications Director

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