Letter to the Editor: Taking matters into our own hands

Dear Editor:
I believe it is time that we took matters into our own hands. One of the issues that Meeker residents will be asked to consider on the ballots that we’ll soon receive is Mill Levy Override 3A, which asks us to help fund our public schools.
Meeker is an amazing community, and it’s clear that we value our children and their education. It’s time that we took matters into our own hands where funding is concerned. Allowing the State of Colorado to figure out pubic school funding simply isn’t working for communities like Meeker.
Too often, big districts like those in Denver benefit and we’re left with too little. This year alone, redistribution of state education funds leaves Meeker as one of three districts in Colorado that will see a decrease in our per-pupil funding. That translates to a loss of $325,000 for our district.
One of the things I most value about our rural mentality is that, if left alone, we can always figure out how best to fix things. Ballot Initiative 3A allows us to help fund our public schools in a way that no one else can mess with. All of the money from 3A stays in Meeker to fund the Meeker public schools. The state cannot touch this money.
With 3A, some of the funds received from oil and gas would work directly in our community, without first being filtered through state coffers.
Energy companies in our valley would fund 90 percent of Mill Levy Override 3A. The remaining 10 percent would come from residential, business and agriculture taxes.
It would cost a Meeker resident with a $200,000 home less than $15 per year to help our schools if 3A passes. Businesses in Meeker with a $200,000 value would contribute only $53.36 per year. I know that every business in Meeker contributes significantly more than $50 each year toward helping our schools and our children.
Addressing the problems with school funding is not simple, but 3A is a common sense, local solution that works for kids and allows us to keep our money at home.
Natosha Clatterbaugh
Meeker