Proposed Twin Lakes development projected to add nearly $1 million in new unfunded costs to local schools
The development of Medium Density public housing on land originally dedicated to the district for a school site and park would introduce, when combined with the Housing Authority’s parcel, nearly 300 new housing units and 100 students into the neighborhood schools without a dime of new revenue. This would materially increase the burden on teachers already struggling with the cost of supplies and large class sizes and on PTA groups who struggle to fund adequate numbers of para-educators to bridge staffing shortages across the district. Housing development would also prevent dedicated land from being used for its intended purpose of a school site and/or park.
- Boulder Valley School District has 4,000 employees
- The proposed project would add 280 to 360 new apartments for any qualifying person, not just BVSD employees
- Public housing units generate $0 property tax
- Boulder spends ~$9,650/pupil per year
- National averages indicate 31 school-aged children per every 100 new apartments
- Cost of 93 new BVSD students would be at least $897,000 with $0 in new revenue
The issue: In 1967, around the time the Gunbarrel Green subdivision in Boulder was built, the developers, George and Everett Williams, the “founders of Gunbarrel,” carved out 10 acres of land and dedicated it to the BVSD for a future school site and park. Nearly a half-century later, district officials and the Boulder County Housing Authority are seeking to turn Public-designated land that has been enjoyed as common open space into a dense complex of nearly 300 apartments.
Although the idea of employee housing seems laudable on the surface, these apartments will generate no revenue to offset their impacts. In Boulder schools today, teachers already face the heavy burden of buying supplies and teaching materials at their own expense. To offset these costs and the significant cost of non-district-funded para-educators, parent-teacher organizations must raise tens of thousands of dollars per school per year. This in addition to the sizeable property taxes paid by all Boulder County residents to fund BVSD.
Adding nearly $1,000,000 of additional direct expenses into the Gunbarrel schools without any additional funding would increase the strain on already taxed teachers. Only a small fraction of BVSD’s 4,000 employees would benefit, and the teachers and staff who have to bridge the additional funding gaps this development would introduce would overshadow that. A better alternative might be to provide housing vouchers or loan debt forgiveness for BVSD employees, which would carry much less impact and help more people. For more info, visit www.TLAG.org.
Cross-jurisdictional impacts: Unfunded growth impacts to schools and loss of land for a future school site and park.