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  • Writer's pictureErin Kane

DCSD Teachers and Staff Receive Pay Raises Thanks to the Voters of Douglas County

In January, Douglas County School District’s educators and staff received their much anticipated and well-deserved pay increases. This was made possible by you - the citizens of our community who voted yes on 5A (Mill Levy Override) this past November.

Pay raises from the MLO were paid retroactively back to the start of the school year. We were so happy to see this come to fruition and our employees have shared with us some incredible stories about what this additional pay has meant to them. As a result of the pay increases, some of our teachers have been able to quit their second (in some cases third) jobs and spend more time with their families. Others have been able to put a down payment on a much-needed second vehicle for their household or use the money to help pay for their own children’s college education.

We have even received inquiries from teachers and staff that left us for other districts because they can now afford to come home. Due to 5A, our starting teacher salary moved from $45K to about $51K for next school year, allowing us to at least have the opportunity to compete with our neighbors (who have starting salaries from $50K to about $65K) as we recruit new teachers. While we have not fully addressed our salary challenges, the passage of 5A has been a HUGE step in the right direction! It goes a long way towards reinforcing our appreciation and support for our teachers and staff and encouraging them to stay here in DCSD where they belong.

Beyond compensation increases, funding from the MLO (as outlined in the ballot language) is enabling us to further increase safety and security in our schools via additional personnel such as School Resource Officers and Campus Security Specialists. Hiring is in the works for these positions and many Campus Security Specialists are already in place at elementary schools. The rest will be in place for the start of the 2024-2025 school year. We also want to express our sincere gratitude to our law enforcement partners, Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Castle Rock Police Department, Lone Tree Police Department, and Parker Police Department, for their support of additional School Resource Officers (SROs). The Douglas County Commissioners recently voted 3-0 to contribute additional funds to maximize the SROs we are able to hire with the passage of 5A. We are so grateful for our community’s dedication to the safety of our schools, students, and staff.

Being able to take better care of our teachers and staff so that they can continue to care for our students is a huge relief and we truly cannot thank our community enough. Of course, we still have work to do, especially in this environment of ever-increasing costs. We are currently working to tackle the challenge of how to invest in our buildings and make sure we are able to provide safe, adequate, and comfortable learning environments for our students and staff. With 111 buildings across our large school district there is always something needing repair or replacement - especially in the winter months we face heating and cooling issues, frozen pipes, roof leaks (and resulting water damage), and more. We accumulate $35M in capital maintenance with each passing year and continuing to defer this maintenance only costs our taxpayers more in the long run. Additionally, we are temporarily supporting growth with overflow schools and mobile classrooms - without the ability to place schools in our school voids, we will eventually have to reboundary existing neighborhoods away from their closest school in order to accommodate the overflow from committees with no schools. We will be reaching out in the coming months to work together in finding solutions to ensure that all of our students and communities have access to thriving school buildings and learning environments.

In the meantime, I hope you take a moment (using the QR code) to hear directly from our teachers and staff. There were many tears of joy and gratitude on November 8 throughout our district. Thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for saying yes to 5A and making it a priority to care for our teachers and staff here in DCSD!


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