BRIGHTON – David S. Gill believes that funding and student achievement and are some of the biggest issues facing School District 27J. That’s why he’s one of four candidates running for the District 6 Director seat.
Gill said despite the district doing what it can, 27J isn't adequately funded and is supporting passage of Amendment 66, describing it as “the best thing that can happen for the district and the best thing that’s really come along in a long time” because it’s a non-discriminatory measure based upon income instead of value of property. If the voters pass Amendment 66, he would push to eliminate student fees and bring back free transportation.
“I would like to get rid of student fees. I don’t like student fees. I believe that public education is just that, it’s a free and appropriate education,” he said. “And when you start tacking on fees and fees and fees, then I think it starts again being discriminatory from the standpoint that those who are less fortunate are eliminated from being able to compete with those who are more fortunate.”
Student achievement, especially when it comes to the achievement gap and graduation rates, is also important to Gill. He has two sons and said one of them fell into the achievement gap. He believes the district needs to begin addressing the achievement gap in a much more aggressive manner.
Gill also believes the district could do a better job preparing kids for college. He says that although students in the elementary schools are improving in their scores, the scores seem to drop in middle school and drop even further in high school. He said the average ACT score for a 27J student is 18, and that the University of Colorado system requires an ACT score of 23, CSU requires an ACT score of 22, and UNC requires an ACT score of 21.
“I think every child should have the opportunity to go to a school of their choice, especially in the state of Colorado,” he said.
Gill is the manager of a large metropolitan probation department where he has experience negotiating with staff. He is a former Brighton City Council member who was term limited in 2009 after two terms.
When he’s not campaigning or working, Gill said he helps his son with homework. He’s also one of four foster homes in Adams County that will take teenagers and is in the process of adopting another Hispanic youth.