MLO/Bond Update from Mrs. Kovalesky

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Update from Superintendent Erin Kane from October 13, 2022

At the October 11 Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Kane addressed some misinformation about the Mill Levy Override (5A) and Bond (5B) that was published in the 2022 General Election Tabor Book (sometimes referred to as the “Blue Book”).

Everything published in the Tabor Book (whether pro or con) is submitted by citizens and must be printed as submitted. Unfortunately, there is no fact-checking process prior to publication.

Below is a link to a video of Superintendent Kane’s comments on October 11, as well as a written summary that addresses claims made in the Tabor Book. We encourage you to share this information with your staff and families to help address some of the misinformation that was published.

Dear STEM School Highlands Ranch Community,

On August 23, the Douglas County School District Board of Education unanimously voted 7-0 to place a $60 million Mill Levy Override (MLO) and $450 million Bond on the 2022 ballot.

If passed by voters, these new funds would be used at our school to:

  • Increase teacher and staff pay
  • Make much needed repairs and upgrades to our building
    • Replace heating and cooling syhttps://stems and components

Our teachers in the Douglas County School District earn, on average, $18,000 less compared to a neighboring school district. Additional MLO funding, if passed by voters, would help the school district provide teachers and staff, including the amazing staff at our school, a competitive salary. Upon passage of the MLO, STEM School will receive approximately a $943 per student increase.

  • STEM School will increase compensation and benefits for all staff on average of 9%-12%.
  • Licensed (Certified) Staff: The average teacher will receive a 12% increase to align with the DCSD updated salary schedules. Individuals over the new cell on the new DCSD salary scales will receive an increase of 3%.
  • All support Staff: Average salary increase for non-licensed staff will be 9% which includes classified, professional/technical and administrators
  • Compensation Timeline (if MLO passes): November 30th, 2022 Payroll: New rate of pay begins.

A $450 million Bond, if passed by voters, would help DCSD construct three new neighborhood elementary schools in quickly growing neighborhoods (The Canyons in Castle Pines, Crystal Valley Ranch in Castle Rock, and Sterling Ranch in Highlands Ranch). It would also provide for building expansions at Mesa Middle School in Castle Rock and Sierra Middle School in Parker to help reduce crowding and plan for growth. The Bond would also assist DCSD in implementing safety and security upgrades, and updating and repairing its existing school buildings (including ours), to provide safe, efficient, quality learning environments for students and staff.

If the MLO and Bond are approved by voters, Douglas County homeowners will pay $1 per week per $100,000 of home value. For example, a Douglas County resident with a home valued at $500,000 would pay approximately $250 more per year if both measures are approved.

You can read more about Douglas County School District’s funding challenges on the DCSD website. Thank you for continuing to be an engaged and informed member of our school community!


Lynann Kovalesky
Executive Director
STEM School Highlands Ranch

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