Aurora community voices its concerns with APS budget cuts


Savannah Lyman, Review Staff

Feature Photo By: Vanessa Guereca- Rico Munn talked about the APS budget and answered questions on Tuesday night. The next open house will be held Tuesday, January 31st. It will be located at Vista Peak, 6 p.m.

As many have heard, APS is in a major financial crisis as the budget is being cut by $31 million. But what many have not heard is that Rangeview High School is at risk of losing half a million to a million dollars for the 2017- 2018 school year, which would have a major impact on nearly all aspects of the school, possibly leading to larger class sizes, fewer elective class options and less funding for extracurricular activities.

Many have been asking how else this will affect Rangeview and the surrounding community. Parents, teachers, and students are stressing out over the future of Aurora Public Schools, as was evident at a Tuesday meeting at RHS.

Senior Darlenne Guerra, Rangeview’s student body president, attended the meeting with determination to get answers on why the cuts are being made.

Senior and student body president, Darlenne Guerra, prepared her question for board member Eric Munn. As of now, the budget for 2017-2018 school year is not finalized. (Vanessa Guereca)

“I think it’s sad that I had to state my position here without them seeing that this girl is serious about her community as student body president,” says Guerra. “I would have no voice in this conversation. This is not right.”

“Why are we cutting at our level when it’s only going to create bigger problems for our kids? School is a business, so why is a business going $31 million in debt? Where is this money coming from? What is going on at the higher levels for this to be going on at the lower levels?”

In November, the Aurora community passed a school bond for over $300 million in order to support the district, so many are confused as to why we have a budget crisis, but as superintendent Rico Munn stated in the community meeting Tuesday, the bond by law can only go towards capital construction and technology and not Aurora school programs or employee salaries.

“We are grateful for them [the bonds] but do not necessarily help in this current challenge,” said Munn.

On Tuesday, Munn stood in front of concerned community members and made it clear that the reason for the budget cut is due to less enrollment over the past years and the district’s inability to accurately predict enrollment. Decisions have not yet been finalized on cuts, but the full-day kindergarten and all middle school sports in APS could be cut, according to options laid out by APS.

From getting rid of late start Wednesdays to getting rid of staff members, the APS board is making drastic changes in order to save money and avoid going into debt.

Signs were put on tables in order to show the community some ideas on how to handle the budget cut. Rangeview High School is at risk of losing half a million to a million dollars for the 2017- 2018 school year. (Vanessa Guereca) 

“Many teachers were nervous about what this looks like and were worried about what this looks like for our students for our families,” stated English teacher Mrs. Bakersky. “I want more answers like everybody else.”

The cutting of staff members have caused waves of concern with teachers and also many students attending APS.

“I feel that the district administration is not standing true to their word and putting students first,” says Ms. Wells. “The cuts continue to come at a student level and cuts seem to come at a teacher level, but very few cuts are being made at the administrative level.”

Students and teachers are not the only ones stressing about what is going to happen to the Aurora Public School’s budget. Chief personnel officer and RHS parent, Damon Smith, expressed his concerns.

“As someone who has two kids attending [APS] it pains me deeply that we have to go through this process. It’s a very unfortunate situation,” says Smith.

Not much has been decided on how to handle this situation. According to Munn, no one will really know anything until late summer when the APS Board approves its budget.

The next open house will be held Tuesday, January 31st. It will be located at Vista Peak, 6 p.m. The meeting is open to anyone.  
To learn more go to: