D-11: Don’t be fooled again

To the Editor:

Great schools are critical to the economic health of our community. Great schools are important to economic development and important to every parent in Colorado Springs. Our largest school district, D-11, is under threat from a slate of candidates calling themselves “reformists” and expressing their candidacy as a “takeover.” Similar “reform teams” are causing massive dysfunction in Jefferson and Douglas County schools. We have had our own experience of a “reform team” in 2003. It was a disaster and resulted in an expensive recall election of the reform board members. We can’t let this happen to our kids once again. We just solved the bickering and dysfunctional city council problem. We don’t need that dysfunction on the D-11 school board.

Serving its 28,000 students, speaking at least 56 languages, D-11 is highly innovative in its approach to serve all its students. There are many great opportunities for students — including Coronado’s robotics program, Mitchell’s bio-chemistry program, Palmer’s International Baccalaureate program and the Wasson campus, providing 11 unique programs including Career Pathways, emphasizing the trades. All high schools offer concurrent enrollment enabling students to earn college credits while in high school.

Our dropout rate is declining. Our graduation rate is up. Innovation is alive and well in D-11. The notion that D-11 is static is false. D-11 is a dynamic and forward-thinking school district.

We know from experience that this brand of “reform” leads to dysfunction and massive turnover in school personnel. A word of caution, you can decide the future of our district. Please pay close attention to this election and to the candidates.

We were fooled once by a “reform team.” Let’s not be fooled again.

— Mary Ellen McNally, former D-11 school board member; Jan Martin, D-11 graduate; Mary Lou Makepeace, parent, D-11 student

Voting yes on 2C and 2D

To the Editor:

My family and I have lived in Colorado Springs for 24 years. I have a small business and totally believe in and support small and local businesses. We are voting yes on 2C and 2D. I have sensed a lack of trust regarding local politicians in this community, until now. Mayor John Suthers is dedicated to the growth and improvement of Colorado Springs. The vacuum that had been created over the years due to lack of trust is evaporating.

If we are to grow, let alone maintain, these two measures must pass. People in this community deserve a better economy and a rejuvenation of our beautiful city, as do our many visitors and tourists. This is a start.

If we as residents don’t take responsibility, who will? I know there are naysayers who pontificate about “no new taxes” or “This is the biggest tax increase in history and the money is rally going to build a stadium.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The money from this increase is dedicated to improve our infrastructure which for years has been overlooked. I would suggest that those who disagree either don’t live her or don’t want to see our city prosper and thrive. And, just as a reminder, the tax will expire five years from implementation.

As a community, we can move forward, stand still, or go backward. I don’t believe any of us would prefer the latter two. I encourage fully supporting these measures by assuring that everyone registered vote “yes.” After all, don’t we want people and businesses to move into Colorado Springs and not out?

— Rene R. Perreault