From the Coloradoan editorial board, part of the USA Today network (May 3, 2018):
“The Coloradoan editorial board will make education one of the pillars of its coverage of the upcoming elections. We’ll be asking candidates for legislative and statewide offices for their views on Colorado’s school finance problem and what solutions they might bring to the table.”
The Coloradoan Editorial Board makes a good point – “Who is going to lead the charge to make real change?” Who will step up to lead?
From its conception, Great Schools Thriving Communities (aka Initiative #93) has been a grassroots movement. We are a coalition that includes grassroots advocacy organizations such as Support Jeffco Kids; but other organizations making up this coalition include NAACP, Padres & Jovenes Unidos, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado PTA, CASE (Colorado Assn. of School Executives), CASB (Colorado Assn. of School Boards), Rural Schools Alliance, and many more. http://www.greatschoolsthrivingcommunities.org/endorsements
But what about our elected officials?
It’s an election year for our state’s highest office, Governor, as well as our House Representatives. We need to hold them accountable when it comes to supporting funding for public education – and it’s got to be more than the usual lip service: “I support public schools”. They all talk about TABOR, and more funding for public schools – but who is brave enough to say they support GSTC?
What candidates do you know running for office this year who have actually come out of the closet and to openly support GSTC? Let us know. We’ll list them here on our page, so all of our grassroots supporters carrying and signing petitions know who the true and dedicated public education supporters are.
TABOR says voters must approve all tax increases. Nowhere does it say don’t ask the voters. So, let’s do that. Let’s ask our voters. Our state has a window of opportunity this election year. Our voters can have a voice in determining the funding of our public schools. And, just as the Coloradoan points out, we need our business community to join in and play a supportive role. We need our rural (communities) to step up and play a supportive role.
With the passing of this initiative, Great Schools Thriving Communities (aka Initiative #93), both business and rural communities will see a significant benefit – in addition to funding our public schools.
While GSTC would make sure all Colorado school districts see increased funding, this initiative is designed to be beneficial to rural communities and businesses with a Gallagher fix (for educational purposes). Agricultural communities that currently pay property tax at the rate of 29% would see a drop in their rate by 5% (for educational purposes only) – for the first time since Gallagher was enacted. Since 1982, the residential rate has dropped steadily from the original 21% to the current 7.2%; and the commercial rate has stayed steady at 29%. One of the biggest complaints business owners have when a school district runs a Mill Levy Override is the fact that they carry the burden of the increase. This measure drops that rate – AND, with the passing of GSTC, most school districts will see enough funding so the need to return to voters on a local level won’t be necessary for many, many years to come.
They say, if you want to know what a community values, look at how its children are treated. If you want a sense of what a community hopes for the future, look at how it values its schools.