Dear Cherry Creek Schools Community,
We continue to monitor COVID conditions in Arapahoe County and are cautiously optimistic, based on the current data, that we can move forward with our plan to safely reopen schools on Aug. 17 with both our In-Person (Full K-5, Blended 6-12) and Online learning options. You can view our new CCSD COVID tracker on the website to see the specific data metrics that will be used to make decisions about safely reopening schools. Expect an updated communication this Thursday, Aug. 6
As we continue to plan for a safe restart of school, we are also working to address a budget deficit of $60 million, due to unprecedented and catastrophic cuts to state education funding as well as long-term costs associated with the pandemic.
Today, I have an important update for you regarding our plan to confront our budget challenges.
On Monday evening, the Board of Education voted unanimously to call for a budget and bond election. Specifically, the Board called for a budget election to raise $35 million for operational expenses to stave off some of the worst impacts of the budget deficit, and a $150 million bond election for costs including deferred maintenance, security upgrades, innovation-focused renovations at our high schools, a mental health treatment facility, and the potential of a new school in the eastern part of the district to alleviate overcrowding.
The recommendation to call for an election came from the Budget Task Force and Council of Chairs, two volunteer committees made up of parents, teachers, students, community members, administrators and district staff. Those groups have spent months meeting and discussing potential cuts and new sources of revenue. The combined impact of the recommendations to homeowners totals $1.65 per month for every $100,000 of home value.
Watch for more information about the budget and bond election package as well as updates on our budget challenges. While our budget situation is dire, I am confident that we can work together as a community to find a path forward that empowers all students with an excellent education and a bright future.
Please check our Planning Forward 2020-2021 website for the latest information about restarting school and expect an updated communication this Thursday. I hope you are enjoying a safe and restful summer.
Scott A. Siegfried, Ph.D.