Tag Archives: Transparency

Mission Possible?

Not too long ago, we shared a link to a survey from the Denver Business Journal on education funding via our Facebook page and Twitter. We’ve been watching the results with great interest and thought we’d share this information with you.

Of particular interest is this question. Should Colorado raise taxes to provide more funding for education? So far, 70% of the respondents have answered Yes. That’s a good start but not an indicator that a ballot issue would be successful. Too many in our community do not understand the education funding issues in Colorado. It’s up to us, as community members, to share information and inform others.

Here are the responses for two more items that were asked about how to spend money for both K-12 and Higher Education:

 

Interestingly, this question “Should Colorado spend more money  on K-12?” is preferred by 85% of those responding yet only 70% wanted to raise taxes. This shows the gap in education where individuals do not understand the funding issues in Colorado. That means TABOR, Gallagher, Amendment 23, and the despised negative factor that all impact our state budget and education funding.

On a regular basis, people do not understand where funding for education comes from nor the statutes that impact the funding. It wasn’t long ago that we had a conversation with a very engaged parent who wanted our own school district to open their books and be more transparent about where the money was going. Although every tool to find this information was available to this individual, she hadn’t looked for the information or taken the time.

Jeffco Schools has been very transparent and, let’s be honest, with so little funding to begin with, there’s not much room for waste. We’ve shared information about how the budget works and we’re still very proud of the work our district staff do to ensure transparency.

 

Jeffco was one of the first school districts to create an online searchable database for the public to use. The district is committing to providing an easy-to-use, clear view of how taxpayer dollars are spent by listing expenditures by fund.

Jeffco’s financial transparency website was recently awarded an “A” by the editors of Sunshine Review. They reviewed more than 6,000 government websites and only 214 were given an “A” rating.

For the 2012 awards, Editors at Sunshine Review analyzed more than 6,000 government websites and graded each on a 10-point transparency checklist. Editors looked at content available on government websites against what should be provided. They sought information on items such as budgets, meetings, lobbying, financial audits, contracts, academic performance, public records and taxes. The winners of the Sunny Award all received an “A” grade during the extensive grading process.

Because of the way the law is structured in Colorado, it’s up to the community to take on campaigns and to do that successfully, we have to educate the community.

First, we ask that you regularly share these informational posts. We ask that you respond to inaccurate statements on social media because people need to understand that Marijuana Money is not funding education, administration is not top heavy, we do not have a billion dollar budget, property tax increases do not equate to more education funding for our schools, and we truly have a huge issue on our hands that is hurting our children with Article 10, Section 20 (otherwise known as TABOR.)

 

Second, we’d like to ask you to visit the Great Ed website and attempt to balance the budget to support education in Colorado through the Mission Possible tool. And then we’d like to ask you to share that information with YOUR friends so they can see the problems we have in Colorado firsthand. Share in it your PTA meetings, accountability meetings, at the grocery store, in playgroups, at the park, etc.

Go here to try it yourself! https://www.greateducation.org/advocates-corner/mission-possible/

 

Friends don’t let friends remain uneducated when our children need us!

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