Colorado*s Commitment to Education

Report
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.

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