What if we told you that even more funding could be taken away from our students in Colorado? What if we told you that the reason for it is because you haven’t taken action in contacting your legislators about an important issue and that there are others who are? That’s exactly what’s happening.
Last week, we put out this call to action about SB61 – http://www.supportjeffcokids.org/senate-bill-61/
Let’s talk about this bill and the impacts to Jeffco. Jeffco already shares mill and bond monies with charter schools, we always have. That’s a local control issue. Our previous board voted to completely equalize our charter school funding. Again, charter schools do serve a purpose and they are wanted by some parents. However, we know that with all the waivers charters receive as well as socio-economic issues across the district, the costs to educate students as individuals and in specific schools and programs are not the same. Equal doesn’t mean equity.
Approximately 90% of parents choose a neighborhood school, whether their own or another location, those children should also be a consideration for SB61. We can’t divide Jeffco. We don’t believe that any ethical parent would look at another child and say “I want you to take funding away from this child to give more to mine,” especially in Colorado where our funding is already terrible. It’s a matter of working together for ALL students.
Specifically for Jeffco, this bill would mean a costly ballot initiative to the voters, approximately $400,000 of monies (minimum of County Clerk charges for a ballot initiative) we don’t even have to spend! And campaign workers and volunteers to share the facts! The ballot initiative would ask voters if they truly intended for mill and bond dollars to be given to charter schools when they voted yes. Let’s say the voters say yes, we are now taking $400,000 away from neighborhood schools to do this and just continuing to do what we’re already doing. Let’s say the voters say no, we are still out the $400,000 and then the board is in the position to either take money away from charter schools to comply with the will of the voters or they can go against the will of the voters and apply some of the monies to the charters as was the original intention when we passed those initiatives. Either way, all children in Jeffco lose.
If you want to make a difference, you have to take action, because others reform organizations are! Legislators are hearing from people saying this is good and putting pressure on them to vote for this awful piece of legislation that has been killed twice in the last two years because it removes local control, causes huge expenses for school districts, and increases inequities in serving students. PTA, teachers, classified staff and administrators all agree, SB61 is NOT good for our kids or our schools.
If you chose not to participate, not to make your calls and emails today, you run the risk of increasing inequities and expenses and hurting more children. The issue is even more cumbersome for small, rural districts due to the lack of funding.
Don’t let ALEC and Koch Brothers legislation hurt our children, that’s exactly what this reform legislation happens to be. Stand up for ALL children. Jeffco is already sharing initiative dollars with charters equally, please take action today!
This is not a drill! We need you to take action and Support Jeffco Kids! SB61 has already passed in the Senate and reform organizations and money may impact the House votes if you don’t speak up!
Now make those calls and emails! Start with the ones on top in bold, those are the members of the House Education Committee. Tell them, please vote NO on SB61, we must support ALL children!
SB61 is not good for our kids or our schools. Mill and bond monies are an issue of local control and this bill would take more monies away from our schools at a crucial time when funding is more than $830.7M less than what it should be due to the negative factor. The education of our students is being short-changed as it is and we cannot afford more negative impacts or expensive and unwanted ballot initiatives. We have done the work to pass local initiatives as a community, this was not the work of the legislature. Vote no on SB61 and focus on funding ALL students, without dividing communities, and without creating more inequities.
Colorado funds our students over $2,600 below the national average.
Colorado spending facts:
- $2,685 per pupil below the national average.
- Colorado ranks 41st in per pupil spending.
Please tackle the state-wide issues for all children and allow local communities to make decisions about local initiatives without any more costly legislation. Please vote NO on SB61 and show that you support ALL students.