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Some Parents Upset Poudre Schools Opts Not To Apply For Pot Funds

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) - Marijuana tax revenue is supposed to fund school construction in Colorado, but one district will not apply for the money and some parents are upset that they voted for the legalization hoping their district would get a cut of the revenue.

When Colorado voters approved Amendment 64 they were promised the first $40 million generated from a pot tax would go to the state's schools. In Northern Colorado this year, Poudre School District students won't get any of that money.

"There's just not enough dollars to meet the need around the state," said Danielle Clark, Poudre School District Executive Director of Communications.

They won't get it because Clark said they're not asking for any.

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According to state rules, the pot tax money is handed out in grants meant to fix safety problems. While 41 of Poudre's school buildings don't have air conditioning, the district says under grant terms that problem doesn't qualify.

Pete Hall and Danielle Clark
Pete Hall and Danielle Clark of the Poudre School District (credit: CBS)

"Air conditioning as a health and life safety component doesn't compare to those others that are imminent life safety," said Pete Hall, Poudre School District Executive Director of Operations.

While some people agree with the district's decision not to apply, others say its short-sighted.

"I think they should apply for it, it's there," said Kathy Suiste, Fort Collins taxpayer and grandparent. "They're always complaining about not having money for computers and stuff in the schools."

"They wouldn't get (anything) out of it. It's a waste of time and money for the district," said Randy Brown, Fort Collins taxpayer and grandparent.

Air Conditioning Fan
Air conditioning out at a school in Fort Collins (credit: CBS)

When it comes to fixing the air conditioning problem, Poudre School District is currently in the middle of a study to find out how much it would cost to upgrade its buildings, such as Bauder Elementary School where students will start school five days late next year to avoid extreme heat.

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