Letter to the editor: Colorado kids deserve better


I was a Jeffco 3rd grader the last time Colorado was near the national average in per pupil funding — 35 years ago. Today, we trail $2,800 below the national average in per pupil funding. Colorado teachers are among the least competitively paid teachers in the nation. Compounding the problem, since the recession $7 billion in voter-approved funding has been withheld from schools through the negative (budget stabilization) factor. Jeffco has not received nearly $700 million in state funding over the last decade.
Local investment in Jeffco Schools is critical for competitive wages, secure learning environments, and ensuring equitable opportunities for all students. However, due to statewide budget constraints, we continue to find ourselves swimming in a riptide, drifting still further from the national average.
Amendment 73 will generate the funds to move Colorado near, but not quite at, the national average for per pupil funding. It stabilizes school property taxes as the third lowest in the nation for homeowners, and provides savings to business property owners, farmers, and ranchers who have gone decades with no property tax relief. Amendment 73 asks the wealthiest 8 percent of Coloradans and large corporations to invest a little more in the workforce of the future. It will begin to bring balance to a tax code that currently sees middle-income earners — our teachers, firefighters, and working families — paying a bigger portion of their income in taxes than the wealthiest Coloradans.
Amendment 73 is good for all Colorado schools, and 5A & 5B target specific improvements for Jeffco. Yes on 73, 5A & 5B!
Amanda Stevens,
Jeffco Board of Education


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