Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Amendment 66: Funding for K-12 Public Schools

By Eileen Johnston

It is time for concerned citizens to voice their opinion by voting on an amendment on this year’s ballot. The ballot question is whether or not the state’s residents should be taxed more for public education. Although there is general support for public education, this tax measure is for almost one billion dollars and locks 53% of the state’s budget in to K-12 public education.

I have heard presentations on both sides of this argument and have to say that it was still confusing.  I have read the brochure from the Colorado General Assembly that explains the rationale, and the pros and cons. 
In the brochure, it explains that the measure “….eliminates the transfer of about 7.2 % of income tax revenue to the State Education Fund,”  and it goes on to explain how 63 % of Coloradans  taxes will increase by 8% while the rest of the people will see a greater increase.  It justifies the additional funding by explaining that principals and Boards of Education will be able to use the money to target areas where research has shown to be effective, (I thought most public schools were doing that now).  It further explains the state will be required to do studies that show the impact of the additional funding on education….it makes me wonder who will pay for this study (usually educational studies are deducted from per pupil funding).  It is also noteworthy that, by design, this amendment allows a portion of taxes paid by one district to increase per pupil funding in other districts.

See you at the polls!