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?
Tuesday's election didn't go the way we hoped. The Bell strongly supported Proposition 103, and we are deeply disappointed it failed.
We thank those who worked so hard – especially Sen. Rollie Heath, whose leadership, passion and energy made believers out of so many. Thanks also to the Colorado Center on Law and Policy and Great Education Colorado, whose grass-roots campaign turned thousands of Coloradans into activists.
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.
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.
Independence Institute President Jon Caldara has been on a tear recently on state Senator Rollie Heath's (D-Boulder) proposed $3 Billion tax hike known as Prop 103.
From the recently published i2i study hammering home the point that Prop 103 is a job-killer, the second study showing devastating impacts of Prop 103, to convincing a 5-time world Domino champion to visually demonstrate the effect Prop 103 would have on employment, Caldara and the Independence Institute have been absolutely spanking the Boulder Senators' foolish tax hike plan.
The Bell Policy Center today is releasing a report that reviews research on tax increases and their impact on job growth and economic development. Proposition 103, the only statewide ballot initiative, would raise taxes, returning income and sales tax rates to levels that existed in 1999. The revenue raised would help counteract deep cuts to the state's education system.
Look at a list of endorsements for Proposition 103, the measure to raise taxes by nearly $3 billion for education, and you quickly see some of the most influential liberal organizations in Colorado.
ProgressNow Colorado, the Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute and the Bell Policy Center have all lined up behind the tax-increase measure on the November ballot, as have dozens of other traditionally liberal-leaning groups such as teachers unions.
Proposition 103 on November's ballot will raise about $500 million annually for education over the next five years. It does this by increasing Colorado's income tax rate from 4.63% to 5% and the state sales tax rate from 2.9% to 3%. These are the rates that existed throughout the 1990s – a period of strong economic growth in Colorado.