Guest Column: Meeker School District

MEEKER | In early June of this year, Meeker School District mailed a public opinion survey to registered voter households districtwide. Typical response rates for surveys of this type range from 8 percent to 17 percent. However, the response rate from our community was significantly higher at 23 percent demonstrating Meeker cares deeply about its schools.

We are extremely grateful to the community members who participated in the survey. We also appreciate the community’s efforts to take the time to understand the district’s facility needs and proposed solutions. In fact, 92 percent of the survey respondents indicated they knew “a lot” or “some” about the funding proposal.
Based on survey results (see below), coupled with other public input gathered in recent months, it is likely that the school board will place a bond measure on this fall’s ballot. However, the size and composition of the proposal is not yet finalized. Final decisions regarding the bond ballot measure will be made at the board’s Aug. 13 work session and board meeting.
What we know for sure is that every effort will be made by the board to reduce the cost of the original proposal. The ballot question will be less than $51 million. The district will also continue to seek grant monies through BEST, DOLA, GOCO, the Boettcher Foundation, El Pomar and other programs to reduce the tax impact.
Our community’s involvement in our facility planning efforts has been phenomenal, which is another reason for me to keep proclaiming that I am proud to be a Meeker Cowboy!

Following are some of the key results of the public opinion survey:
– 72 percent of survey respondents indicated they are in support of the school district proceeding in placing some type of bond measure on the November 2018 ballot to renovate the high school and construct a new bus garage.
– Only 20 percent of respondents indicated they would not support a bond of any kind, with the remaining 8 percent not responding or unsure how the District should proceed.
– Support is strongest for a bond that would be supplemented by grant funding and be less than the original proposal of $51 million.
– It is apparent that many district residents understand our high school building is in poor shape, with only 9 percent of survey respondents giving the school building a letter grade of A or B compared to 63 percent giving the facility a grade of C, D or F. (The other 28 percent were unsure what letter grade to give the condition of the building or did not respond.)
– A large percentage of the survey respondents also place a high priority on replacing the outdated bus garage.

Chris Selle
By Chris Selle
MSD Superintendent