A Project for Better Journalism chapter
In the Community

Basics of Arvada School Funding

School funding has become a more pressing issue as of late. It seems as if though smaller schools, such as Arvada, are getting less money than we deserve and it’s like our local government isn’t doing much to solve this problem. After all, it’s not like money makes our world go ’round.

A majority of the funding that comes in is distributed towards the students’ education. Other parts of it go towards the teachers’ salary and the technology the school uses. The money that goes towards a student’s education is the part that helps implement more courses, and ultimately more choices, for the student body. Our funding is also put into any ongoing clubs.

Our school funding is determined by the annual October pupil count. Each school district must count the number of students in attendance on October 1st. Even though funding is based on the current school year, for a district that has fluctuating enrollment, the government might decide to give that district money in accordance with the body count four years prior and the current body count.

Administration’s Molly Jordan, who is in charge of Arvada’s seniors and scheduling, says, “The state would like data from each building and each district to say:  ‘How many students were in their seats that day of that quote-on-quote “October Count” ‘ and based on that count, that’s what determines how much funding that school gets from the state

At Arvada, this system is fully put into place. During this most recent October count in 2016, Arvada received approximately $4 million, and contrary to popular belief, not all the money goes towards sports and, no, the performing arts program is not underfunded. This money covers all costs of keeping the school running. The leader of each department in the school, along with an assistant principal and the principal, sit down and address the issues that need the most attention at the time, like, for example, the school needs more Chromebooks for the students.

Gina Rivas, principal here at Arvada High School says, “We give some money to each department. We give money to technology so you guys can have computers. We give money to leadership, so the teachers can maybe have some professional development and then supplies.”

The funds received may seem large at first, but once everything like salaries and extra supplies get factored in, that money quickly disappears and not much is left. It’s best that a school gets what it needs in the present and save and leftover funds for the following year, just in case of emergencies or last minute details.

Sometimes, the funding received is just not enough. Certain programs or classes are cut because there’s just simply not enough to support them. Take Arvada’s Creative Writing class. Next year, this is one less elective students will be able to choose from when registering for next year’s courses. For a few, this is a class they just do not want to lose.

Sophomore Kilyn Stewart says, “Creative writing is actually one of the only classes I enjoy and look forward to, so yes this really upsets me, I did plan on taking it again”.

Students and teachers alike are upset about future classes not being available to learn or teach in. For many, this is a missed opportunity they won’t get back during the rest of their time at Arvada. This happens at schools around the country, where programs are being cut because there’s just simply not enough money.

“The moment I have something, they take it away”, said Junior Dylan Milroy.