Larimer County’s results from the election on Nov. 5, 2019, show that Ballot Issue 4A passed, with about 61% of voters supporting the PSD mill levy override.
The mill levy override will provide $18 million annually and will be used for:
- Raising first-year teacher salaries to a competitive level, beginning in the 2020-2021 budget year
- Restructuring the teacher salary schedule to maintain competitive wages and allow PSD to recruit and retain high-quality teachers
- Maintaining competitive wages for support staff (classified employees such as bus drivers, paraprofessionals, child nutrition staff and custodians)
- Supporting students’ mental health, hiring mental health professionals such as counselors
- Enhancing safety and security
PSD-authorized charter schools would receive their pro rata share per state statute. No revenue from this tax will be used for administration salaries or capital improvements. A Mill Levy Override committee monitors expenditures.
What is a mill levy override?
- A voter-approved mechanism to fund local schools.
- It is a property tax increase used for ongoing expenses, such as teacher and staff salaries, technology upgrades and more.
- Local funds that stay in PSD schools.
How much does it cost me?
- For every $100,000 in assessed home value, the cost is less than $3 per month.
- $400,000 home = approximately $137 increase/year
- Find your home’s assessed value on the Larimer County website here.
History of 2019 MLO
Why did PSD ask for a mill levy override?
Colorado ranks among the lowest in the nation for K-12 education funding. (Colorado School Finance Project State Ranking)
- PSD gets the lowest amount of per-pupil revenue (PPR) allowed by law. PSD is among about a dozen floor-funded districts that receive less PPR from the state than the vast majority of Colorado’s 178 districts. (Colorado Department of Education “Understanding School Finance and Categorical Funding”)
- At the time of the November 2019 election, PSD’s starting teacher salaries were less than in neighboring communities, including Loveland and Greeley.
- Demand in Colorado for qualified teachers is on the rise. The state is also experiencing teacher shortages due to low teacher salaries, rising costs of college education, and increased student loan debt, among other reasons. (Colorado Department of Higher Education, 2017 “Teacher Shortages Across the Nation and Colorado: Similar Issues, Varying Magnitudes”)
- Recent state-level school funding fixes have been unsuccessful. In past elections, PSD voters have approved tax increases, providing PSD with additional money on top of state-provided funding.
Board explored ballot measure in July 2019
PSD's Board of Education directors reviewed a presentation about a possible mill levy override and considered draft ballot language for the possible measure during their meeting, Aug. 13, 2019.
The Board decided to explore having a mill levy override measure on the November 2019 ballot after a community poll in July indicated sufficient initial support for a possible PSD property tax increase measure. Nearly three quarters of the 400 people polled responded positively to a potential $16 million annual mill levy override. Community members indicated they would support a ballot measure if the money was used for increasing teacher salaries and adding mental health personnel.
PSD's Executive Director of Finance Dave Montoya and Executive Director of Human Resources Vicki Thompson presented an overview of the possible mill levy override to the Board. The presentation covered the goals of a possible mill levy override, possible funding amounts and draft ballot language.
- View the mill levy override Aug. 13 presentation here.
- The ballot resolution was approved by the board Aug. 27, 2019.
PSD 2019 facts
- 30,000+ students
- 52 schools, including 5 charter schools
- PSD students continue to have high levels of overall academic achievement* and demonstrate measurably higher performance than grade-level academic peers in the state.
*PSD District Ends 1.0 Monitoring Report, approved Feb. 26, 2019
- 3,823 employees
- About 40% have a master’s degree (includes licensed, classified, administrative staff)
PSD is a floor-funded district, which means it gets the lowest amount of state per-pupil revenue (PPR) allowed by law. Compared to PSD, many other Colorado districts receive more additional state dollars for factors including enrollment, student population, district size and cost-of-living differences.
PSD has history of community support
Colorado ranks among the lowest in the nation in state K-12 funding. Additionally, PSD receives fewer state dollars than an overwhelming majority of Colorado’s 178 school districts. To make up the difference, PSD has over the decades asked its voters to make up the funding gap. PSD says thank you for those past investments in education. Learn more on the Mill and Bond Initiatives web page >>
- 2019 Mill Levy Override Frequently Asked Questions web page
- Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- To contact the Board of Education members, email email@example.com.
If you have difficulty accessing information from the PSD website or would like information in an alternative format, please contact the Communications Department by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.