For those thinking of voting “Yes on Amendment 66”, and want real classroom reform, consider the facts below before you cast your vote. Yes, Colorado needs educational reform, but is this the way you want to achieve it?
Think about “as-seen-on-TV” advertisements as you watch the “Yes on Amendment 66” TV ads. Do you think those ads are everything they claim to be?
- It is nearly a $1 billion a year tax increase.
- There is currently a $1 billion surplus sitting in the State Education Fund. The promises from Amendment 66 could be funded from that surplus.
- This is the largest income tax increase in the state’s history.
- Too much of Colorado’s school funding goes to administration and special interests.
- According to the National Center for Education Statistics, fewer than half of Colorado’s public school employees are actually teachers.
- From 1992-2009, the number of Colorado education administrators increased by 83%, while the number of students increased by just 38%.
- Without this increase in administration, Colorado teachers could be earning approximately $10,000 more per year.
- Amendment 66 contains no assurances that the $950 million in taxes would ever make it into classrooms. Yes, money is dedicated specifically in this amendment for classroom improvements, however, that same money can be moved from one budget line to another, so the promised money will just be subtracted from another source and money in the classroom will remain the same.
- The Amendment says it “could” reduce class size. For almost $1, is “could” the best we can get?
- Currently, 40% of our state’s high school graduates need remedial classes once they enter college. There is nothing in this measure which would create success-based metrics.
- The redistribution is not equal. If your community pays in more in taxes than another, your local schools may still not get more money.
- Individual school districts passed more than $1 billion in school bonds and mill-levy overrides last year. Amendment 66 may require those districts go back to their residents for even more tax increases. Residents could see a third increase for the same purpose in just 2 years. Estes Park already has a ballot issue on the 2013 ballot.
- The amendment says it will help fund some of the merit-based tenure reforms passed in 2010. However, special interests are waiting until after the Amendment 66 vote in November to sue to discontinue merit-based tenure. They don’t want bad press to cloud the vote on the tax increase.
- The median Colorado family could see an increase in taxes of $250 per year, and yet, Colorado incomes are 7% below pre-recession levels.
- Coloradans pay more in taxes today than ever in the past.
- Colorado is not 49th in education spending, as proponents of the bill claim. It is 26th, in the middle of the pack.
- This bill is not a Republican vs. Democrat issue. It’s an overtaxation issue where there are no guarantees $1 billion will help the students in our school.
Check out this article from the Denver Post for more information.
Don't forget to vote in the November 5 election. Early voting is available. And bring your ID, it's required to legally vote in Colorado. If you are over 60, a Colorado ID is free. Under age 60, the cost is $10.50. If you cannot afford a Colorado ID to vote, please send me an e-mail.
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