Loveland's Independent News Source
Loveland - June 17, 2016

Thompson Schools Superintendent Stan Scheer, in reaction to a survey result for a proposed new school bond,
stated it
"doesn't reflect a very well educated community that is my big concern with that survey report."

Scheer further explained to the Thompson School District (TSD) Board of Education last Wednesday,  ".....that is
a tricky issue because people would like you to tell them exactly what you are going to do with their money
and....ah.....ah.......that seems to be the expectation much more in this community than any other I have been
He went on to caution the board against being too specific in ballot language they will propose for their
upcoming ballot requests to raise property taxes on all commercial and residential property within the district.

Scheer also told the board, "
what people don't know" in terms of boundary adjustments is the need to close
schools given their ongoing budget deficit.  Scheer has been unable to balance the district's budget now for a
number of years so is spending $5-6 million more every year than the district receives in revenue.  To
accomplish this deficit spending, Scheer is dipping into reserves that were accumulated under previous
administrations.    Prior to the election last November, Scheer was quick to correct anyone who implied schools
may need to close given changing demographics and students transferring out of TSD claiming that was not
even being discussed.

School Bond Survey Results - 58% Unfavorable

On January 20, the school board approved hiring National Research Center Inc. to develop and conduct a
political survey to assist them in selling ballot measures seeking a large increase in property taxes.  The board
is planning to place on this November's ballot an increase in the district's current mill levy by 7 mills (
called a
mill levy override) to fund increases in teacher salaries plus a $300 million bond (total increase of 17 mills) to
fund moving Loveland High School, creating new campuses and general maintenance across the district.  (the
new number of 288 million being advertised is not the actual bond amount but assumes a premium paid by
the lenders will allow the district to only bond 288 balance but receive nearer to 300)

The stated purpose for the "Spring 2016" survey was to test support for the planned ballot measures
which have been churning (at least at the staff level) now for about two years within TSD.  The survey asked
everything from the respondent's political affiliations (Democrat or Republican) to whether the individual will
support a bond to achieve the goals the ballot language will likely include.  (
see National Research Center
presentation to the board)

According to a presentation presented to the Board of Education on Wednesday,
"A Bond to build a new
Loveland High School, build a new K-8 campus east of I-25, reformat, enhance and consolidate existing
received only 42% support in the survey.   The board was told by one expert that in most communities
they expect to see at least 60% support for a bond prior to putting the request on the ballot.

The survey was sent to 1,800 registered voters within TSD and only 19% or 346 people responded.  Since it is
uncommon for school bond supporters to ignore such a  survey, it is likely that among those who didn't respond
the negatives are even higher than just 58% of those who did.   Considering those who didn't respond likely
also don't favor the bond, the negatives could easily exceed 80%.

Moving Loveland High School

A potentially controversial element in the Thompson Reinvented plan is moving Loveland High School from its
current location.  Senior staff and board members of TSD have been careful in promising a "
new high school"
instead of explaining that Loveland High School will indeed be moving closer to Ft. Collins if the "Thompson
Reinvented" plan is funded as currently proposed.  Ironically, some on the board are arguing that by passing
the bond the number of students opting out of TSD in favor of Poudre Valley or other area schools will decrease
by at least half.   However, there isn't any evidence, so far, that moving Loveland High School along with a
number of other schools will result in higher enrollment.

For example, Loveland Classical is planning to build a High School near the corner of 29th and Wilson in
Loveland which is close to Loveland High School's current location.  At a capacity of 500 students, it would
appear logical that Loveland Classical will draw some students away from Loveland High School who will not
be attending at the new near Ft. Collins location if the bond is approved in November.

Superintendent Stan Scheer Gets A Raise

The board also approved a 3.5% salary increase for Scheer after it was noted that he was given a high review
score by every member of the board.  Board Director Jeff Swanty tried to raise the increase to over 6% or
$11,000 per year but was shot down by Lori Hvazda-Ward who than apologized to Scheer for not supporting
the bigger increase.  Ward explained that while she believed he deserved that increase and more it may not be
well received at a time the district is spending more than its revenue and asking the public for a property tax
increase.  The board unanimously approved a 3.5% increase instead with a promise to "make-up" for the
shortfall in coming years.
TSD Superintendent: Survey Results
Show Community Is Uneducated
Reinvented (Bond)

Tax Increase estimates of
~10 Mills

Approximately $80 per
$100,000 value

Typical home value of
$260,000 will result in a
property tax increase of

$200 per year

(renters will likely also see an
increase as landlords often
pass increases in direct costs
onto tenants) when possible
Thompson Reinvented

$288,446,083 Bond Plan

Essential repairs at all schools

Add wing to Berthoud Elementary

New Loveland High School (w/25yd pool)

New K-8 for 800 east of I-25 $34,223,000

Remodel current LHS campus into K-8

Remodel Bill Reed to serve K-8

Remodel TVHS for STEAM and Sports

Add bus loop at Turner MS $500,000

Add multi-purpose outbuilding to BHS

Loveland Classical Gym $1,695,000

New Vision CS roof, carpet, windows

BHS Pool partnership investment

Artificial turf (BHS, LHS, TVHS, MVHS)

HS Track overhaul (MVHS, TVHS, BHS)

Repairs for 4-9 as funding is available