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Thoughts and Experiences from the Mile High City of Denver, Colorado

Referendum J - School District Spending Requirements


Referendum J is pretty similar to Amendment 39, but there are a few things that Referendum J offers that Amendment 39 does not. I spoke about Amendment 30 yesterday. Summary I spoke about Amendment 39 yesterday. Referendum J does everything Amendment 39 does plus it adds a few things.

They both have a at least 65-percent funding for the classroom, but Referendum J adds in Principals, Support Staff, and Support Services provided at the school level. Referendum J also adds an out for school districts by allowing voters to exempt them from the 65 percent requirement and it adds a requirement that standardizes format for school district budgets and the school districts must submit them to the state.

In comparing spending, if these were to pass, 166 schools would have fallen short by a total of $278 million under Amendment 39. Under Referendum J, only three districts would have fallen short by a total of $1 million.

If both Amendment 39 and Referendum J pass, any provision of Amendment of 39 is in conflict with Referendum J, the provision of Referendum J will not be enforced.

My thoughts I think that Referendum offers a better deal for the State of Colorado. It puts in spending regulations for the school districts, includes more in the 65 percent mandatory spending, and if the local voters feel that 65 percent is too much, they can vote out of the 65 percent requirement. Referendum J also standardizes school district budgets, allowing for a good comparison and understanding on how our schools are funding their operations.

Also, if both were to pass, we could have many lawsuits seeking clarification and guidance from the court on which parts of Referendum J conflict with Amendment 39.

My Vote Yes on Referendum J.