Thursday, October 13, 2022

Greeley Tribune Opinion Piece - Bob Tointon & Janet Alcorn

Bob Tointon & Janet Alcorn: Invest in our future and vote ‘Yes’ on 4A

As a businessman in northern Colorado for over 60 years and an educator for over 40 years, we know one thing for sure: our community is as strong as its schools.

We have seen the growth and interest in our community with businesses and individuals as our schools have continued to improve over the past years under Dr. Pilch’s leadership.

This is not something that happens by chance. In 2017, the voters in this community stood up and said that it was time to give our schools the ability to do the work they needed to do with our students. We passed the first mill levy in the history of Greeley-Evans School District 6, which allowed the district to put into place programs in our schools directed at career-focused learning including funding of college level classes for students through Aims and UNC, implementing improved safety and security at our schools, providing academic support including updated technology, textbooks and summer school programs, and developing a competitive workforce by adjusting salaries for hourly employees and quality educators for our students.

When we passed this initiative in 2017, the promise that we made with the community was that we would come back five years later and ask them for their approval to continue this important investment in our community for the next ten years.

During these first five years, an oversight committee has been meeting continuously to make sure that the taxpayer money received from this mill levy was spent on the programs and indeed it has been an excellent steward of the money it has collected.

It is time for our community, once again, to step up and support this MLO. This is an investment in our community, its schools, our residents and mostly our children.

Students will benefit as additional career pathway opportunities are developed, as modern technologies are acquired to keep pace with what our students will be using in their careers, as new textbooks and materials are needed for the highest level of instruction and as upgraded school security measures remain a reality to keep our kids and staff safe.

We want our students to be competitive in the post-high school higher education options they pursue and in the workforces they join. We owe it to them to provide them with the absolute best preparation as they enter their future.

We must invest in that future and the best way to do this is to support our public schools (traditional and charter) and the programs they offer, through financial means and through our continued participation with and interest in them.

This MLO is not a tax increase; the current 10 mills of property tax that was approved in 2017 will remain the same and will sunset in ten years. Instead, this is a continuation of a commitment on the part of our Greeley and Evans communities to do what we know makes a positive and meaningful difference for our two cities and those who reside here.

Let us come together again, as we did in 2017 and say YES to 4A and to supporting our future in the cities of Greeley and Evans and in preparing our young citizens in a way that only education can.

We are the stewards of our youth and as such, it is our duty to make sure that they are prepared for the future that awaits them. We ask you to join us in supporting this by voting YES on 4A.

— Bob Tointon is the owner of Phelps-Tointon, Inc. Janet Alcorn is the director of the Tointon Institute for Educational Change at the University of Northern Colorado.