Colorado chronically underfunds its public schools.
In 2000, voters passed Amendment 23 to the Colorado Constitution. It was intended to get Colorado back up to 1989 levels of school funding. Unfortunately, the Legislature has been unable to find the money to fulfill this promise to our students, and Colorado falls well short of this goal every year.
Colorado’s schools are experiencing a funding crisis. About half of the school districts in Colorado are running on 4-day school weeks, and school districts throughout the state are having difficulty attracting and retaining teachers.
This year we have the opportunity to start pulling Colorado out of its school funding crisis.
There are inadequate funds in the state general fund to support education at the level voters approved. Colorado has the only state Legislature in the country that does not have the power to raise and levy taxes. So we need to ask you, the voter, to approve funding for education.
Initiative 93 would raise money for education by creating a graduated income tax in Colorado. Most taxpayers — those who earn under $150,000 per year — will continue to pay the same rate they pay now. For taxpayers who make more, the amount of money they make over $150,000 will be taxed at a slightly higher rate, and this money will go to public education.
What would we get for this? Really that’s up to local school districts. Local districts made different choices about what to cut when the 2008 economic collapse came, so they need to have the flexibility to determine what they need most now.
Here in the Poudre School District, we could offer free all-day kindergarten for every child, and we would be able to more fully fund our school district priorities such as mental health.
Please consider signing a petition to help get Initiative 93 on the November ballot. For more information, please go to GreatSchoolsThrivingCommunities.org to learn more and to find where to sign a petition.
Cathy Kipp, Poudre School District Board of Education