Frequently Asked Questions

What will the 2020 Bond be used for?

The Long Range Planning Committee (LRPC) is an ad-hoc Board of Education committee that provides recommendations for the design of a District-wide educational system that reflects the Board’s vision taking staffing, budget, facilities, enrollment changes, resources, and educational and co-curricular programs into consideration.  Priorities identified through the master planning process include:


Safety & Security - $10M

Deferred Maintenance/Capital Projects - $23M

Technology - $2M

Miller Middle School Rebuild - $45M

Durango Innovation and Design Center - $10M

Transportation - $1M


How will the bond expenditures be monitored?

The Bond Oversight Committee will meet on a monthly basis and will review project updates, review financial expenditures to ensure they align with what was approved by voters and provide regular reports to the Board of Education and FAC.  In addition, they will represent the work of the committee within the community, review and advise on Durango School District 9-R recommendations for the use of bond savings and project changes.


What is the difference between a Bond and a Mill Levy?

Both a bond and mill levy are types of funding drawn from property taxes to support public projects and services. 


  • Bonds are a one-time capital investment in schools and classrooms and can only be used for capital expenditures, including major repairs, renovations or additions to update older schools for 21st-century learning, and new schools.  They can be used to buy additional educational technology. A bond can invest in building upgrades such as critical maintenance, sustainability or air conditioning.  Bonds are not included in the district general fund and cannot be used for operating costs such as salaries and benefits. Think "bonds = buildings".


  •  Mill Levy Overrides are additions to the general fund and used for operating expenses such as salaries and benefits, instructional programs and classroom technology. Think "overrides = operations".

Will the Bond increase taxes?

During the 2020 Election, voters in La Plata County approved the passage of Bond 2020 for the school district, with more than 72% support. The renewal of the existing bond will not increase taxes for any taxpayers and will bring in $90M into the school district, along with additional funding for all three local charter schools. You pay several different taxes on your property tax bill, including local and state services. One is a bond tax for school districts, which was not raised in order to borrow more money. The phrase "tax rate" is key because your property taxes will go up or down based on the market, which may change the amount of money you pay on taxes, but the new bond would not increase the tax rate.


The district has refinanced its current bond funding to create more space to borrow. Similar to refinancing your personal mortgage on your home, we are able to refinance our bond capacities to borrow more at a lower rate without changing the payments.  


Per TABOR laws, school districts have to get community approval to borrow money, even if it will not increase tax rates. Almost like getting a co-signer on a mortgage. Or like a teenager wanting to buy a car but needs dad to co-sign. The district needs the community to approve the borrowing of money. 


What do those acronyms mean?  Check out the list of acronyms below.