Though some Colorado students have already put summer behind them and are back in classrooms, most will return from the summer break in just a few short weeks. Many will do what they’ve always done on the first day of school: they’ll don backpacks brimming with new school supplies, gather at the school entrance eager to rekindle friendships, and well yes, learn what’s in store for them during the coming year. College students will settle into their new digs, get acquainted with roommates, and freshmen will immediately begin working on the Freshman 15.
So far so good.
But what might students find as they walk through those doors on the first day of school?
Some students will discover larger class sizes, fewer art and music classes, reduced (or eliminated) world language options, no more field trips, and some (mostly in rural communities) will attend school four days each week instead of five. Some will walk farther to bus stops or pay fees to ride the school bus. Many will return to the same textbooks used during the Clinton administration or will share textbooks with one or more students. Some will take fewer classes because graduation requirements have been lowered. And college students will anguish over escalating tuition and fees as they slip further and further into debt.
Increases in insurance, utilities, fuel costs, and retirement programs are making it difficult for school districts and higher education institutions to keep up. Listen as Tracie Rainey of the Colorado School Finance Project discusses the impact the cuts are having in classrooms across the state in this recent Colorado Public Radio interview.
So, who cares?
Hundreds of thousands of Coloradans care but there hasn't been an easy way for them to speak together, until now...
What are WE doing about it?
The 2013: Year of the Student Project, a growing and diverse coalition of organizations, is coming together to give citizens from across Colorado an opportunity to take meaningful collective action toward solving the funding problem. Specifically, we are asking state leaders use the 2013 legislative session to make 2013 the Year of the Student. Parents, students, teachers, grandparents, business leaders, and Coloradans are signing a statewide Call to Action to respectfully demand:
“That the General Assembly make 2013 The Year of the Student, using the legislative session to create and find funding for a P-20 education finance system that matches reforms, mandates and accountability measures with the resources necessary to ensure that every student is successful.”
What can YOU do about it?
State leaders will do right by Colorado's students when tens of thousands of us demand it.