Statement of the Great Schools Thriving Communities Coalition on Initiative 63
What’s the big idea? Without raising taxes, we can add nearly $1 billion for P-12 public schools, meaning more support for our students and better pay for our educators!
Did you know?
- Colorado teachers are the least competitively paid teachers in the country. That’s right, dead last!
- There are nearly 3,300 open positions in our schools – from teachers to food service workers to bus drivers and more. That doesn’t include the gaps we have in school nurses, social workers, and guidance counselors.
- Our schools are owed a nearly $10 billion debt to our students and educators due to the BS Factor (the Budget Stabilization Factor, or the “Borrowing from Students” Factor).
|Will this affect the $400 TABOR “Surplus” Rebate proposed by Governor Polis for this August (or vice versa)?|
No: That rebate is for the Fiscal Year ending on June 30, 2022. Initiative 63 would not go into effect until January 1, 2023. Putting this on the ballot gives voters an opportunity to allow some future “TABOR surplus” dollars to be used to address Colorado’s teacher shortage.
|Is this a constitutional or|
Statutory: It only needs 50%+1 vote to pass. We will need about 125,000 valid signatures – from anywhere in the state – to qualify for the ballot.
|How does Initiative 63 work?|
The toplines: The measure will divert ⅓ of 1% of already collected taxable income (about $900 million) to the State Education Fund (SEF) and remove those dollars permanently from the TABOR surplus calculation. The SEF is already funded using this mechanism; Initiative 63 will double the current annual diversion to the Fund, and require the newly diverted dollars to be used to attract, retain and pay teachers and student support professionals.
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