Aurora voters largely supporting tax measure to build new schools

This story will be updated as election results start coming in.

Early results show voters in Aurora largely supporting a measure to raise their property taxes to allow the city’s school district to sell $300 million in bonds.

Out of 50,061 votes counted in Adams and Arapahoe counties, 56 percent of votes counted are in favor of the bond measure, while 44 percent are against it.

Aurora Public Schools is making the request to build two new schools and improve existing buildings. The district is dealing with enrollment fluctuations. Unofficial student counts showed the largest drop in student enrollment in decades, meaning the district had to cut $3 million from the current year’s budget.

But as enrollment at some schools shrinks, other schools are overcrowded and predicted to keep growing.

The bond would set aside about $12 million for a new school building in northwest Aurora that superintendent Rico Munn has proposed for a DSST charter school, if the charter pays for half of the cost.

Earlier this year, the district received a state grant of $16 million to help replace Mracheck Middle School. But to receive the grant, the district must come up with $24 million to kick in. The bond would also cover the district’s match for the grant.

Colorado Votes 2016 | For more live coverage and results click here.The governing boards of two Aurora charter schools have passed resolutions opposing the bond, arguing existing charter schools aren’t getting their fair share.

On Tuesday, voters at Aurora polling centers were mixed on their support of the bond.

“Schools are deteriorating,” said one man who didn’t give his name, but said he voted in favor of the measure.

Ballot measures “are really sneaky,” said another man, who said he was voting against the bond. “I didn’t have time to research it.”

The district set up a website that details what each school would receive if voters approve the measure.

The proposed bond would cost homeowners an additional $1.93 per month for every $100,000 of home value.