League of Women Voters® of Colorado Supports Amendment 66 THE LWVCO BOARD SUPPORTS AMENDMENT 66 BASED ON LWVCO POSITION ON FISCAL POLICY: Support adequate and flexible funding of state government programs through an equitable tax system that is progressive and which incorporates social, environmental and economic goals. Support a progressive state income tax. LWVCO POSITION ON SCHOOL FINANCE: A state school finance system should include the following: Equity for students, taxpayers and school districts. Adequate sources of revenue. Support for high-cost programs for students with special needs. SCHOOL FINANCE ACT SB 213 SB 213, which replaces the 1993 School Finance Act, was passed during the 2013 legislative session and signed by the Governor. The cost of the bill is approximately $945 million. Provisions of SB 213 • Initiates an average daily count method • Funds pre-school for all at risk students • Funds all day kindergarten for children of parents who choose • Attempts to fully fund mandates • Improves equity in funding throughout the state • Increases support to charter schools • Develops online transparency for budgets and spending of schools and districts THE FUNDS FROM AMENDMENT 66 ARE NECESSARY TO FUND THE NEW SCHOOL FINANCE ACT. MAJOR PROVISIONS OF AMENDMENT 66 • Raises state income tax from 4.63% to 5% on the first $75,000 of taxable income • Taxes that portion of one’s income which exceeds $75,000 at 5.9% • Creates a State Education Fund, 43% of taxes collected in 2012 will set the yearly minimum amount to go into this fund • Implements legislation regarding state and local funding to school districts LWVCO SUPPORTS AMENDMENT 66 BECAUSE • It restores adequate funding to education in Colorado • It funds pre-school education for all at-risk children • It funds full day kindergarten for children of parents who choose it 1. Funding Colorado’s funding of public education is low compared to other states and is declining. Trend in Average Per Pupil Spending Year State Average PerPupil Spending 2006-07 $6359 2007-08 $6,661 2008-09 $6,874 2009-10 $7,078 2010-11 $6,813 2011-12 $6,474 2012-13 $6,474 Colorado’s Taxes in Comparison to Other States • Colorado has the 3rd lowest state taxes in the country. When state and local taxes are combined, Colorado ranks 6th lowest. • Colorado’s taxes are the lowest of any of its neighbors. Even with an additional $950 million from an increase in personal income tax rates, Colorado would still rank approximately 11th lowest in combined state and local taxes, keeping Colorado well below the national average in collections of state and local taxes. • 28 States have their highest individual income tax rate over 5.9%. WHAT WOULD PEOPLE PAY UNDER AMENDMENT #66 INCOME NEW TAX PER WEEK ESTIMATE NEW TAX PER YEAR ESTIMATE $ 30,000 $ .96 $ 50 $ 45,000 $ 1.77 $ 92 *$ 57,000 $ 2.53 $132 $100,000 $ 4.81 $250 $150,000 $14.06 $731 * Median Household Income in Colorado, According to the U.S. Census Bureau 2. Pre- School Education Pre-school education has important economic and social benefits. Pre-school education is almost universal in our competitor nations. BENEFITS OF EARLY PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION TO OUR ECONOMY • Children are less likely to need remediation • Students are more likely to graduate and become more productive citizens • Students are less likely to commit crimes • Students are more likely to choose healthier lifestyles • Investment in Early Childhood Education of children from low income communities yields higher return than later schooling and job training EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS OF PRE-SCHOOL EDUCATION • Children show improvement in language and math skill when they enter kindergarten • Children show more positive approaches to learning • Achievement gaps between at-risk children and other children is reduced • Students are 31% less likely to repeat a grade and 32% less likely to drop out of high school COLORADO DOES NOT FUND PUBLIC PRE-SCHOOL FOR ALL QUALIFYING STUDENTS • Colorado Department of Education estimates that as many as 12,000 4 year-olds who were considered to be at-risk because of economic and social conditions had no pre-school available to them in the 2011-2012 school year (the most recent year with estimates available.) • The increase of 3200 slots for the school year 2013-2014 is not enough to meet the need. COLORADO DOES NOT ADEQUATELY FUND ALL DAY KINDERGARTEN The Colorado State funding formula counts kindergarten students as .58 of a pupil.