The 65 Percent Solution
In November 2006, Colorado voters turned down two ballot questions: Amendment 39 and Referendum J.
The competing proposals would have required school districts to spend at least 65 percent of their operating funds on classroom instruction or student achievement.
The idea sounds sensible, but it doesn’t deliver.
“The facts don’t support the concept,” writes Frank Waterous, senior policy analyst for the Bell Policy Center, a nonpartisan think tank that focuses on social public policy issues affecting Colorado. “These proposals are simplistic gimmicks, and there’s no solid evidence these spending requirements do any good."
In this issue brief, Waterous drew on research that compares spending patterns and student achievement test results in Colorado school districts. The facts show no correlation between a set percentage of spending and achievement.
Once upon a time.
Issue Brief - 65 Percent Solution spending plans for Colorado school districts, Aug. 10, 2006
Press release - Facts don’t support 65 Percent school funding proposals, Aug. 10, 2006
Press coverage - Think tank attacks 2 proposals, Longmont Daily Times-Call, Aug. 11, 2006;
Think tank pans school spending amendment, Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 11, 2006;
School funds backers bypass disclosure law, Initiatives foes say organizers hiding out out-of-state money, Rocky Mountain News, Aug. 12, 2006.
Commentary - What's wrong with the 65 Percent Solution: It sounds like a sensible way to improve schools, but it doesn't deliver, The Boulder Daily Camera, Jan. 29, 2006
Other research - "65% Deception: Status in the States," National Education Association