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Community examines 27J’s use of new tax dollars

group of eight people smile at camera

Community members of the 27J Schools Mill Levy Override (MLO) Oversight Committee.
Back (L to R): Mikayla Zambrano, Kristi Donovan, Rachel Wilhelm, and Alison Marlan

Front (L to R): Kitti Walkup-Birkhead, Gaby Chavez, Berta Thimmig, and Michael Kouba

Not Pictured: Rhianon Collins, Greg Piotraschke and Leon Thornton

This week, a group of community members gathered to take a close look at how 27J Schools is spending and allocating taxpayer funds to improve teacher pay, student learning and safety.

After nearly 23 years without a voter-approved mill levy override, voters put their approval on a local tax increase to support neighborhood schools and students. Specifically, voters said yes to improving:

  • Teacher and student support staff pay 

  • Student safety throughout the district

  • STEM/CTE (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math while CTE stands for Career and Technical Education) staffing to operate new centers at each high school.

The 11-member group committed to doing in-depth study on how a mill levy override works, legal requirements, and using community survey information and impacts of funds spent to ensure the district is keeping its promises to voters. The committee recognizes it is a representation of the entire community in its oversight role. Members expressed their dedication to sharing what they learn and their assessment of how the process is working on behalf of taxpayers. 

The group comes together again in September to select a chair and vice chair, and investigate how a mill levy override works with routine budget funds and the restrictions on mill money usage.