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Dr. Eucker's January 30 Newsletter Message: Implement an independent funding strategy

Strategic Goal: Implement an independent funding strategy outside of Per-Pupil Revenue (PPR)


This goal was created because we want to develop relationships within the community that lead to supporting our mission, vision and values for our students, teachers and staff. Why is this important? So that funding is never a limiting factor on our potential. We want to take full advantage of grant opportunities and overcome all barriers.


Our schools is a FREE public school funded by tax dollars just like all public schools throughout the United States. Each state decides how much to fund schools and the formula to distribute those funds to urban, suburban and rural schools. 


Colorado is in the lowest quartile of school funding. Within Colorado, the distribution formula follows a J-curve where rural and urban district receive far more funding than suburban schools. In a low-funded state, Douglas County is one of the lowest funded school districts in Colorado. Douglas County schools are among the lowest funded in the entire country. If we were located about 100 miles north in Wyoming, our funding per student would almost double. If we were located in New York, our funding would triple. Click here to view the per-pupil spending by state. 


I think you would agree that we maximize student outcome with so little in resources. We constantly ask how each expenditure will enhance student achievement. The most important way to increase student achievement is to have a quality teacher. Now that we have restructured our debt to free up resources, the goal is to be the most competitive school for salaries, benefits and culture for our faculty and staff. We cannot compete effectively with other districts that have different funding, but we can compete within the DCSD where all schools receive the same funding. 


The Strategic Plan goal to enhance our funding stream through sources beyond the taxpayer allocation, is critical to the other Strategic Plan goal of attracting and retaining top talent. Unless Colorado decides to fund public schools at a level closer to the national average of about $12,000 per student, an increase of almost 50% for our school, Colorado and our school will struggle to attract and retain top talent as the national shortage of teachers reaches critical levels. Quality STEM teachers are even more scarce. 


Building partnerships for apprenticeships, internships, mentoring and advisory enhances our mission far beyond measurables of the balance sheet. Our P-Tech program, apprenticeships with Colorado Succeeds and our own programs have changed our instructional practice as we align with agile industry standards. We can overcome the reality of being one of the least-funded schools in the country by stepping up to the challenge of our Strategic Plan goal to fund our vision through resources beyond the limitations of the Colorado funding formula. 


Sincerely,


P.J. Eucker PhD

Executive Director

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