COLORADO SPRINGS – Ballot measure 4-E in Harrison School District 2 is one of the few local school funding issues that actually passed with 56% support.
We first met folks campaigning for ballot measure 4-E while they were canvassing neighborhoods in southeast Colorado Springs.
Campaign manager Anthony Carlson says they may have actually knocked on at least 30-thousand doors, and he credits that outreach with the measure’s success.
“We believe those one-on-one conversations and people actually getting a chance to to hear about the need was a big role in folks stepping up and being willing to support Harrison with this initiative,” he said.
The measure allows the district to raise their debt ceiling by $180 million. The district was struggling and post-recession state-funding wasn’t cutting it.
“We lost almost 90 million plus dollars over these last few years that we should’ve gotten from the state,” said John Rogerson, CEO with the Harrison School District. “We’ve been able to do basic maintenance in our district to keep things safe and secure but not truly upgrade.”
But now, major upgrades are in the works.
“We have one school that’s going to have a complete rebuild,” he added. “We’re going to have two schools that are going to have additions, but every building will be modernized, brought up-to-date.”
Four projects will get started by May of 2019, allowing students and staff to finally get up-to-speed instead of falling behind.
“For us to be able to put such a large investment in making sure that the kids in Harrison [School District] have the same opportunities as kids in other parts of Colorado Springs, it means a lot for those kids,” said Carlson. “And not just that, for the community.”
Part of the measure also calls for a citizens’ oversight committee to supervise the projects. The district will be sending out instructions on how to join via postcards during the early part of Thanksgiving week.
You’ll also be able to track all projects online here.