Ballot measure could fund higher ed

A measure that could set aside revenue for education could make November’s ballot.

A group of Colorado education nonprofits is asking for the legislature to refer a measure to the ballot that could increase state revenue specifically to pay for preschool, K-12 and higher education.

The measure, which could be introduced as early as tomorrow, requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and the Senate.

“This just gives voters the chance to restore some flexibility to the state government,” said Lisa Weill, policy director for Great Education Colorado, one of the 19 groups that make up DECIDE, the group requesting the ballot measure. “We want more options for education.”

Those options are not defined in the ballot measure.

“We don’t say to raise this tax, or that tax – or any taxes,” Weil said. “It just gives the legislature that flexibility to decide for themselves. And if voters don’t like the way they handle it, they can vote to ‘un-elect’ them. It’s the way that the 49 other states do it.”

The state is going through a tax study for the first time since 1958, examining both the tax structure and where revenue comes from. That study could help the government decide how to approach the higher education issue.

“Right now, the legislature has only one tool for balancing the budget,” said Andrew Bateman, chairman of the Associated Students of Colorado. “We’re just asking for a chance to decide if there’s a better way to balance the budget.”

Other members of the coalition include Associated Students of Colorado, Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented, Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado School Foundations Association, Colorado PTA, Colorado Rural Schools Caucus, Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, Every Child Matters, Great Education Colorado, Impact on Education, Justice and Peace Ministry Team, Kriffin Elementary PTA, Padres Unidos, Partnership for Families and Children, Wickerdale Walkers and Women Informed Network.

3 Responses to Ballot measure could fund higher ed

  1. Not again…

    Education never stops whining for more and more money. Having been in the local education system I know that the adminstrators from the principals on up have no concept of running their schools in a business like manner. At one of the new D20 schools, the principal told the staff to order things from the catalog and she only wanted the most expensive of the items there. And, draperies had to be ordered custom to match the colors that she wanted in the school.

    And so it goes, the educators get their pay raises, pensions, health insurance on the state (us) and any time they want more money, they cut bus service and other immediate parental/child impact services.

    In the meantime, our children fall further and further behind in their education on national and international testing. An example that our schools are not doing their primary job is in their AP and IB programs. Less than a third of the high school students are able to pass their AP exams in D20. But when they go to college, they manage to pass the classes when they have to repeat them there. Seems to me that their high school teachers, excuse me educators, just are not qualified to teach college level classes. Another waste is the IB program. Graduates from the program find that most of the top colleges do not recognize classes taken in it or often do not even know what it is supposed to be. In the mean time, the kids have to read some really trashy ‘international’ literature.

    So, this group is trying a back door to get more funds from taxpayers without putting it up to our vote.

    I hope we all contact our legistlatures and tell them, “HELL NO”. NO MORE TAXATION and NO MORE FUNDS FOR EDUCATION until they show they can spend it responsbily and use it to educate the kids so they can read, write and do arithemetic.

    jocko
    March 25, 2010 at 1:45 pm

  2. Didn’t we vote for Referendum C a few years ago that gave more money to schools? D-11 spends more than $9,000 per student – which is a very high amount and they’re asking for more money. In a 30-kid classroom that means each teacher is overseeing $360,000+ of our money. What idiot is in charge of their budget? If you can’t do an excellent job with $360,000 then you should check to see if you suffer from a brain tumor. Bring in someone who hasn’t been in “public service” their entire life to make some real-world decisions.

    Hunter W
    March 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

  3. 1. Schools are not a business. The goal is to educate the public and provide them with the knowledge and education to be successful in life.

    2. Amendment C was not to increase funding but rather to stop funding losses.

    3. If you can manage the funds of the school system, why don’t you go through an alternative certification program for principals. I dare you.

    4. Check out this graph showing how Colorado compares with the rest of the country and even with itself 40 years ago. It has been a long time since anyone can claim that we are throwing money at education. A picture is worth a thousand words.
    http://www.greateducation.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/Picture-2.png

    Will H
    March 31, 2010 at 12:58 pm