Majority of Denver voters would support a potential $975 million DPS bond, new poll finds

The nearly $1 billion bond would be used for maintenance projects, a new school and more.
2 min. read
Denver Public Schools buses at their home off Federal Boulevard, Dec. 14, 2019.
Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite

A majority of sampled Denver voters would support a ballot initiative that would issue a $975 million bond to Denver Public Schools, according to a new poll from civic engagement nonprofit Denver Families for Public Schools and Keating Research, Inc.

The Denver Public Schools Board of Education is weighing a proposal from the district’s Community Planning and Advisory Committee to put the nearly $1 billion bond on the November ballot for Denver voters. 

The board is due to vote on sending it to the voters in August. 

The bond would be used for maintenance projects, a new school and safety and technology improvements.

The recommendation comes after five months of discussions with the committee of parents, educators and students on how a bond would be most beneficial.

Diving into the poll findings

The survey polled 500 likely Denver voters on a wide range of issues, including the potential bond. Keating Research noted that that support was consistent across political beliefs. 

“Support for the Denver Public Schools bond measure is widespread, extending across party lines as Democrats (78% vote yes), Unaffiliated voters (62% vote yes), and a plurality of Republicans (43% vote yes) support the bond measure,” a report on the survey said. 

Major projects the bond would pay for include:

  • $240 million to install air conditioning in 29 DPS buildings without A/C, install more efficient A/C units at more locations, and conduct a geothermal study on school use of A/C.
  • $301 million for “critical maintenance,” which includes mechanical, electrical, plumbing and sustainability upgrades.
  • $100 million for “quality learning environments”, which would pay for a health clinic at the Paul Sandoval Campus, all-gender restrooms and building outdoor classrooms. 
  • $11 million to implement and improve district-wide safety systems, including weapons detection, security cameras and crisis communication.

The poll also surveyed voters on what they think of DPS leaders

While surveyed voters expressed support for the potential bond, Denver residents appear to be dissatisfied with the current leadership.

Forty-seven percent of respondents held an unfavorable view of the current Denver School Board. Fifty-one percent of respondents said they were unfamiliar with Superintendent Alex Marrero, with 33 percent holding an unfavorable view. 

Denver Families for Public Schools paid for the study as part of its goal to understand how voters feel about the potential bond. The nonprofit plans to decide whether it will endorse the bond in the coming weeks. 

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