We need more time...
Don't get me wrong. We like the proposals we have been seeing from Dr. Pollio on how the district intends to spend the proposed tax increase, which was approved by the JCPS Board on May 21. We understand that JCPS needs to build several state-of-the-art schools in the West End in order to cut down on the number of students that are bused to schools outside of their communities against their wishes. We also realize that the proposals calling for a more equitable student assignment plan are largely dependent upon raising the district's "bonding capacity" via a 7 cent tax increase.
But we need more time. That's why Dear JCPS recommends signing our petition to make sure the proposed tax increase is on the November ballot.
With the pandemic changing the landscape of education by the minute, and the movement for Black lives providing meaningful opportunity for structural change, we believe the JCPS community needs more time to process the needs of our district’s most vulnerable students and brainstorm solutions. We have heard from numerous grassroots JCPS organizations and individual community members who currently oppose any tax increase. Their reasons are varied, from lacking confidence that the district will spend the new revenue in the ways they are proposing, to lacking factual information about the district's tax or tax history.
This is NOT TO SAY that we don't support a tax increase. We're just saying, we need more time.
We believe most of the reasons and concerns we have been hearing from our community can be addressed if given more time. Adding this measure to the ballot will give our community until November to have these necessary but difficult conversations, which will not only increase community buy-in as solutions are developed, but it will increase the likelihood that any new tax revenues will be spent in the best ways possible.
We Offer a "Pro Public Education" Petition
Many have also told us they support seeing the proposed JCPS tax increase on the November ballot, but they have been (understandably) reluctant to sign the petition that is being circulated by "anti-public education" outsiders and special interest groups. And since tomorrow (Friday) is the last day for Jefferson County voters to petition to have the proposed JCPS tax increase added to the November ballot, we wanted to give voters the opportunity to weigh in on the ballot measure here, too. Please sign the pledge and check "yes" to the "On the Ballot?" question by 4 PM Friday (tomorrow), if you wish to add your name to our "pro-public education" petition.
Regardless if you choose "yes" or "no," Please Sign the Pledge to Stand With JCPS Grassroots Organizations
Whether you favor the tax increase or not (or still haven’t decided), please sign the pledge to support grassroots JCPS organizations as they continue to advocate for systemic change in the district on behalf of our most vulnerable populations. By signing today, you are essentially agreeing to use this additional time to stand with the organizations that are demanding racial justice, accountability and transparency from district and community leaders between now and the November election, and pledge to vote according to their recommendations at that time. Based upon the input from these groups, a recommendation to vote in favor or opposed to the increase will be forthcoming prior to the General Election.
A lot can happen between now and November. Let’s see where this conversation takes us.