Achievement Gaps and #GSTC2018

Chalkbeat recently posted an article about achievement and the gaps in Colorado. https://www.chalkbeat.org/posts/co/2018/04/10/colorado-naep-scores-2018/

“Colorado, like much of the rest of the country, still has work to do to close our achievement gaps, but I know that our teachers are already working long, hard hours to meet the needs of students,” Katy Anthes, Colorado’s education commissioner, said in a statement.

“I believe that teachers can’t do it alone,” she said. “We need to rally entire communities around our students to meet their needs before, during, and after they enter and leave the school building each morning, so they all have equal access to the educational opportunities at school.”

We appreciate that our education commissioner acknowledges the work of our Colorado educators. The base problem comes right back to funding each year. While some claim “throwing more money at a problem won’t fix it”, significantly DEFUNDING education also does nothing to help fix the problem.

Colorado ranks second in the nation for return on educational investment but we don’t invest enough to eliminate our achievement gaps. In fact, education funding has not recovered from the recession: In the 2017-18 school year alone, Colorado schools were underfunded by nearly $830 million.

We have a huge opportunity to address education funding in Colorado this year with very little impact to taxpayers. By adding an income tax to those making over $150,000 per year (only 8% of Coloradans), this small increment can add $1.6 Billion to better serve our Colorado students.

Many of us who will be impacted as delighted to have the opportunity to take a step to fund education in Colorado because we know our students deserve better.

According to the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy, those with a household income of $30,600 to $51,300 pay 8.7% in state and local taxes in Colorado. For $79,800, the taxes paid is $8.3%. At the other range of the spectrum, those in the income range of $317,800 pay 6.3% and for those making $1,799,900 the taxes paid is 5.3% – a very upside down tax scale that burdens those making the least amount of money paying the highest percentage.

We’ve been selling cookie dough for years, hosting silent auctions, volunteering for fundraising events, and been as creative as we can be to bring in money for PTAs and other nonprofits to cover the basic necessities in our schools. Our fundraisers should be for extras for our children, not the basics.

If you’ve not signed a petition yet, we need you to do so. If you can carry a petition, we need you for that as well. We need someone at every school and in every community advocating and sharing the information about Great Schools, Thriving Communities.

You can use our Google form to contact us or email petitions@supportjeffcokids.org to contact us and be connected to a volunteer near you.

Use this link to get in touch with the team: https://goo.gl/forms/h2jGQypKGQAZeay02

Imagine what we could accomplish for our children with $1.6 Billion per year. That’s $120 to $140 Million per year for Jeffco alone! Considering the last mill levy request was for $33 Million with everyone increasing their taxes, this is an extremely reasonable and easy request.