Saturday, November 10, 2001
Steamboat Springs When Steamboat Springs' voters passed a cost of living adjustment Tuesday, they were not the only taxpayers in Colorado to approve an increase in taxes to raise teacher and staff salaries.
Steamboat Springs School District was one of six school districts in the state to have the ballot issue approved by a convincing margin. Rep. White (R-Winter Park), who helped push a bill through the state Legislature to incorporate an increase cost of living factor into the state's finance formula, said he was pleased with Tuesday's results.
"I'm extremely happy. This is a critical issue to schools in my district. The fact is now they'll receive funding that will enable them to be on equal footing," White said.
Eagle County, which began the campaign to increase cost of living for teacher's salaries last year, had their ballot issue pass by 59 percent. Melinda Gladitsh, who helped start the Vail Citizen's group that brought the issue to the forefront in state Legislature, said Tuesday's ballot issue won by a much larger margin than most traditional tax measures in Eagle County. That tax measure will bring an extra $3 million in for teacher salaries.
With a 61-percent approval, Aspen voters passed the COLA increase, which would give the district over $1 million a year more to increase teacher salaries.
When the state revaluated the cost of living factors last year, Aspen had the highest factor at 1.846, which changed from 1.638.