LAURA BOGGS NOT BE ALLOWED TO MODERATE THE APRIL 30TH EVERGREEN MIDDLE SCHOOL BUDGET FORUM
April 25, 2011
Jefferson County Board of Education
1829 Denver West Drive #27
Golden, Colorado 80401
Dave Thomas, President
Dr. Paula Noonan
cc: Dr. Cindy Stevenson, Superintendent
RE: REQUEST THAT LAURA BOGGS NOT BE ALLOWED TO MODERATE THE APRIL 30TH EVERGREEN MIDDLE SCHOOL BUDGET FORUM
Dear Jeffco School Board Members,
We the undersigned represent a broad, non-partisan coalition of Jeffco community members that includes parents, community leaders, business leaders and concerned citizens. We are writing to you to express our alarm and outrage over the recent series of statements and actions by censured Jeffco School Board member Laura Boggs, in which she has willfully misrepresented and mischaracterized information about the District's budget in multiple public forums. All of these actions represent continued and serious violations of Board norms and policies. More importantly, this conduct undermines the recent successfully negotiated budget package, born out of the historic and unprecedented Jeffco employee summit.
An example of Mrs. Boggs’ misconduct is provided by thefirst-hand account of a District parent. In a letter of complaint, Mrs. Boggs appears to willfully attempt to bribe the parent to solicit votes for Mrs. Boggs' chosen Board candidates. This act would be in exchange for the promise of reversing the proposed closing of the school where that parent’s child attends, following theNovember 2011 Board elections. While understandably very upset over the pending closure of her child's school, the parent was far more offended by the corrupt suggestion made to her by Mrs. Boggs.
We are all aware of Mrs. Boggs’ troublinghistory ofunprincipled and dishonorable behavior - acts that ultimately led to the historical decision by the Jeffco School Board members to unanimouslycensure Mrs. Boggs. Never before has a Jeffco School Board member been censured. That censure carried no real consequence, but as you know, was simply a warning to Mrs. Boggs to behave ethically and appropriately asan elected official. Unfortunately, we now cite several recent instances of unacceptable behavior by Mrs. Boggs, which occurred at recent public gatherings. Two known events were the March 19th Townhall Budget Tour held at Golden City Hall, hosted by Max Tyler, Sue Schafer, Betty Boyd and Cheri Jahn and the April 1st Arvada Round Table held at the Arvada American Legion Hall.
Mrs. Boggs has delivered the following data points that are either false or misleading:
- Jeffco per pupil funding is $11,400.
When in fact, per pupil funding will be about $7900, including state allocations and local funding.
- Students will lose six days of school next year.
When in fact, students will be in school only two fewer days, due to furlough days. While Jeffco staff will experience the loss of four additional workdays, these are not days when students would have attended school.
- Teachers will receive a 14% pay increase that will cost $12 million dollars.
When in fact, teachers and all Jeffco staff will receive a 3% compensation reduction, due to the 2 student contact furlough days and the 4 days of work reduction, which equates to a budget savings of about $16 million.
- A suggestion was made that Jeffco is inappropriately funding preschool.
When in fact, preschool is an educational opportunity, which pays educational dividends for students, is mandated for special education students and is financially self-sufficient in Jeffco.
In another example, Mrs. Boggs’ publicly endorsed the anti-tax initiatives, Amendments 60 & 61 and Proposition 101, whichwould have stripped millions of dollars from K-12 education. Mrs. Boggs’ position on these proposed amendments was articulated in public appearances as a Board member, and in direct conflict with the official position of opposition taken by the Board.
At this juncture, there can be no further question that Mrs. Boggs is waging a concerted campaign to, reportedly in her own words, “tear this county apart.” We refuse to stand-by and allow this harm to continue without protest.
Due to our serious concerns about the veracity of any information publicly disseminated by Board member Boggs in the upcoming budget forum, we petition the Board of Education to require the two Board members who negotiated the agreement, Dave Thomas and Jane Barnes, to attend the forum slated to be hostedby Mrs. Boggs at Evergreen Middle School on April 30, 2011. We also request thatMrs. Boggs not be present, but that Superintendent Stevenson, District CFO Lorie Gillis and District COO Steve Bell attend in orderto correct and clarify any inaccurate information that has been provided by Board member Boggs.
Jonna Levine, Strategic Planning and Advisory Committee Citizen Chair
Kelly Johnson, Jeffco Parent
Eric Westerhausen, Marshdale Elementary School CDM Co-Chair
Tad Stephens, Marshdale Elementary School CDM Co-Chair
Tammy Story, Conifer High School CDM Chair