Jonna again testified for SJK on Tuesday regarding HB19-1112. Thank you, Jonna! Here’s her testimony for your reading pleasure:
We strongly oppose House Bill 1112.
We hold, as a basic principle, that public, taxpayer dollars for public education must stay in public schools; and that our students who choose public schools be funded adequately and equitably, with sustainable funds, which is a goal our state has yet to accomplish.
Therefore, we oppose any changes to public school funding in Colorado that would use public, taxpayer dollars for vouchers, tax credits, Education Savings Accounts or any other tool used for privatizing public education.
HB1112, in establishing “child safety accounts” to pay for tuition in non-public schools is, in fact, a voucher program.
We believe addressing child safety and security should be a key priority; and we have worked and advocated tirelessly for increased public school funding so that schools can provide the necessary programs, specialists and staffs, and training to keep our children safe and secure.
And we applaud those bills brought forward thus far this legislative session that address student safety and mental health. But truly, that’s not enough.
We need to grow the pie, if we want to fund this growing need in our schools along with so many others. Certainly, considering the Budget Stabilization factor sits at $672 million – dollars owed to our public schools – the last thing we should be doing is finding ways to redirect dollars away from our public schools.
This is Colorado, the land of TABOR, afterall. Surplus dollars in the General Fund are an anomaly, limited, and, as in this year, there are always competing priorities for those dollars.
As elected officials, you are the stewards of our taxpayer dollars. It’s your responsibility to protect and fund our public entities and infrastructure such as K-12 public education first.
We ask that you continue in your support for public K-12 education and vote NO on HB1112.