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School District 11 in Colorado Springs is looking for help from voters in the form of a bond issue.
D-11 is asking for $96.7 million to build two new elementary schools-- one in Norwood and one in Cimarron Hills. The money would also help repair and renovate older schools and upgrade technology like aging phone systems and computers.
Most of the districts buildings are more than forty years old, and those buildings don't meet the growing needs of the district's growing population. So D-11 is asking the average homeowner to give another $53 per year to fund schools. The average property owner is already paying $620 a year to D-11 for school district taxes.
While the bulk of the money will cover repairs and technology upgrades, the district says it needs about $20 million for two new schools. The district's newest schools, built in the districts northeast area, are already at capacity. Scott Elementary has to use 2 portable classrooms to accommodate 100 new students this year, and there are at least that many other students in surrounding neighborhoods who have to be bused elsewhere to handle the growth in northeast Colorado Springs.
Beneva Richardson lives just four blocks from Scott Elementary. She was told there was no room for her daughter at Scott, yet, she says the district is busing in students from miles away to her neighborhood school. She says the district should stop wasting money on its transportation plan, before it asks voters for any more. "So basically, the buses pass each other and it costs taxpayers $60 thousand a year--its mind boggling. The district spends $500,000 to manage growth at Scott, if you count the portables."
District administrators say they created busing boundaries before the current building boom and growth is five years ahead of schedule.