A judge's recent decision in the Lobato lawsuit dominated discussion Tuesday at the last meeting of a group that's been considering new school finance systems.
The Colorado School Finance Partnership, which been working for a year on funding issues, heard lengthy presentations on the decision from Kathleen Gebhardt, lead attorney for the successful plaintiffs, and others on about the potential impacts of the ruling on future funding of public education.
WASHINGTON – An imminent battle to extend tax cuts to more than 161 million Americans next year – including 2.5 million in Colorado – could get ugly as Republicans and Democrats spend the weeks before a Christmas recess wrangling about how to pay for them.
This year, the median household, which earns $50,000 annually, saw roughly $1,000 back in its paychecks after President Barack Obama and Congress agreed to shave 2 percentage points off of what workers normally pay into the Social Security trust fund.
At the most recent meeting of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, the Bell Policy Center voiced strong concerns about Gov. John Hickenlooper's proposed $30 million in cuts to the state's need-based and work-study financial aid programs in his FY 2012-13 budget request. Such cuts could reduce post-secondary educational opportunity for many low- and middle-income Coloradans.
We have been saying for several years that Colorado's enterprise zone program has not been effective at promoting economic growth.
In 2009, we released a review of research that showed enterprise zone tax credits resulted in minimal long-term investment and few, if any, jobs – the primary objectives when the program was established in 1987.
Schools have cut budgets for several years, and the choices of what goes next are running out.
The classroom might be the target.
"To some extent, you get what you pay for, said Glenn Gustafson, Colorado Springs School District 11 finance director. "If we want to have the lowest-funded education system in the United States, then be prepared for the consequences of that."
Officials want to keep looming cuts out of the classrooms, but can they?
VALLEY – San Luis Valley voters mirrored the statewide attitude towards Proposition 103 which was hailed as a resounding defeat at press time.
The only statewide ballot question would have increased sales and income taxes for education.
Local and statewide results available at press time reflected a strong negative reaction to the tax proposal. In Rio Grande County, for example, residents voted 1780 to 763 against the measure. Costilla County electors voted two-to-one (748 to 354) against it.
On a cold, snowy day in Denver, we're glad to see attention focused on the "hot topics" of escalating college costs and student loan debt. We've long pointed out that the rising costs of post-secondary education and the amount of debt incurred by many students represent daunting obstacles to opportunity for low- and middle-income Coloradans.
Two annual reports released by the College Board – and a plan by President Obama unveiled during his speech in Denver – address these important issues.
Talk about being off message. In the waning days of state Senator Rollie Heath's campaign to raise taxes by $3 Billion in Colorado through Prop 103, one of the biggest supporters of the ballot initiative, the Bell Policy Center, put out a "study" claiming that Prop 103 won't actually kill jobs (PDF). If the debate is framed over job losses, you can be assured it's not to the advantage of tax hike supporters.
Lawmakers, businesses and academics continue to spar over a tax hike on November's statewide ballot. Proponents say it will provide a needed, temporary boost to public school funding while critics say it will end up costing jobs in an already tight economy.