By Bill Phan and Abby Beddow
On November 6, the Centennial school district voted to pass two questions that would ensure more funding towards building up Centennial’s schools, hiring more faculty and upgrading technology, among many other improvements.
The first question passed with a margin of 18.94 percentage points. The second question passed with a margin of 14.48 percentage points. The first question asks for an increase of the school district’s general revenue by $650 per pupil, subject to change with inflation.The second question concerns a bond not exceeding $22,215,000 for betterment of Centennial’s schools. Both questions will be paid for by a property tax increase over the course of ten years. The question explicitly states that this funding will be provided through property tax increases for residences of the Centennial school district.
According to a video posted by the Centennial faculty, the district has not received an approval for a voter-funded and approved operational increase for 13 years to keep up with inflation. This has created a $4.23 million shortfall, which would not have happened with if the state has given Centennial more money.
Estimates placed Centennial’s budget cuts at $9.3 million in five years and $17.2 million in nine years, which meant cutting staff, teachers and paralegals and keeping deteriorating infrastructure and technology.
Ms. Heino, the AP World History teacher for CHS offered her opinion on the levy.
CN²: How do you think the school will be affected by the increase in school funding?
Ms. Heino “I think that it will lead to an overall higher comfort level amount students and staff. Class sizes will be reduced and less cuts will be made”
CN²: How do you think that your class specifically will be affected?
Ms. Heino “I think the ideal situation will be for class sizes in general to go down.”
CN²: What efforts did the school take to inform the community about the levy?
Ms. Heino “I don’t think that it’s officially the school that leads the charge on this, I thinks it’s mostly the student and parent groups but I do think they did a fabulous job; I saw some of their social media campaigns.”
With the passing of the levy, Centennial will be able to add back more faculty, fund an indoor hallway connecting CHS’ east and west building, replace aging technology and fund athletic and art equipment. Class sizes, according to a Q&A page posted on the CHS website, would also be “maintain[ed] and in certain cases lower[ed].”