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Colorado Gifted and Talented Education Investment Presentation

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Great Ed presented at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Conference on February. The presentation describes how Colorado is investing in Gifted and Talented students and in all Colorado …

Great Ed presented at the Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Conference on February. The presentation describes how Colorado is investing in Gifted and Talented students and in all Colorado students Pre-school through Higher Education.

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  • Thank you for this opportunity, and even more, thank you for the very difficult and thankless work that this committee is doing. This is an incredibly challenging time for school districts around the state – also for colleges and universities, and all other public services. You have been at this since March, and there is still a long road ahead for this committee. We appreciate the invitation to be able to give you a bit of context for your work. As you seek to make decisions that will minimize negative impact on the students and communities in Jeffco, it is important to have an understanding of what has necessitated this work in the first place. Jeffco has cut almost $12 million and tens of millions more in cuts are coming. You have been strategic in bolstering your reserves. You’ve scrubbed your budget, and yet, you will be communicating with parents and taxpayers about the reasons for these sacrifices. It is politically and emotionally difficult. When will it stop? Colorado has a severe school funding crisis, it affects every district and every child – differing ways, and different degrees. It’s a statewide problem that can’t be fixed district by district either by cuts or by mill levies. And it looks like it will get worse, at least for the next couple of years. But Great Ed is here tonight to suggest that it doesn’t have to be this way.
  • Mention how Great Ed started in a living room, parents who were concerned
  • This is not necessarily everything but you would probably agree that these are critical to the success of our kids. - Basically, meet kids where they are and Ensure their progress A focus on teaching.– where the rubber meets the road. Teachers and principals.
  • Per Pupil Expenditures (2007-08) – National Center for Education Statistics Pupil to Teacher ratio (2007-08) – National Education Association Technology – Education Week
  • Story of funding in Colorado This is really a tale about the Amendments and their impact on resources available to schools and kids. Black LINE – national average Red LINE – Colorado per pupil spending The Gallagher Amendment passed in 1982. It’s cumulative effect has been to erode local property taxes. Nevertheless, you can see that during the 1980s, when the Colorado economy went into the tank due to the energy bust, this state spent more on education than the national average. - That was due, in part, because school districts were able to stabilize local revenues by floating their specific community’s mill rates (property taxes). During the 1990s – the economy experienced a real expansion, but we cut back our investment in students relative to the national average. Also, in 1992 TABOR was passed. It took away the right of districts to float their mill rates without a vote of the people and removed the state’s ability to backfill the hole left by declining property tax rates, so the state’s budget laws resulted in per pupil funding that could not even keep up with inflation. In 2000, Amendment 23 was passed to plug hemorraging school budgets. At that time, spending was already about $700 below the national average. - While it is estimated that spending per student would have been a lot less without Amendment 23, the unexpected consequence has been that Amendment 23 – designed to be a protective FLOOR – has become a CEILING. - The other bad news is that the measure of inflation used in Amendment 23’s inflation + 1% formula is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), and is not weighted to reflect the kinds of things that school districts buy like health care, pensions, and energy. IN the last few years, Colorado fell off the chart and it will get worse in 2011. Sure looks like a cliff!!
  • Meeting Kids Where They Are : Let’s focus a little more on the concurrent demands as they relate to meeting students where they are at … All of these categories are mandated either by the federal or state government. -Special Education: Special ed is mandated by the federal government. While other states reimburse districts for the majority of extra costs of educating special needs kids, Colorado supports 20-25% of the total. -ELL: Students are funded for a maximum of 2 yrs and depending on what level of English they speak are funded at 3 different levels (183 different languages served in 132 districts. [Michael Bennet: It cost DPS half of what the state provides to just test the kids, so what’s left to teach them?] GT: Programming includes differentiated instruction, affective guidance and counseling, and a variety of content options to meet the diverse areas of giftedness. At Risk: Federal mandates to support at-risk kids and there is federal support called Title I money. -Without going into too much detail, and understanding that the categories overlap in various ways, it is important to recognize that each of these groups at this time is being inadequately addressed in terms of our investments. -We must get better at teaching kids and preparing students for the workforce and helping them each reach their potential, but as a state, we need to match our words with our investments.
  • Meeting Kids Where They Are : Let’s focus a little more on the concurrent demands as they relate to meeting students where they are at … All of these categories are mandated either by the federal or state government. -Special Education: Special ed is mandated by the federal government. While other states reimburse districts for the majority of extra costs of educating special needs kids, Colorado supports 20-25% of the total. -ELL: Students are funded for a maximum of 2 yrs and depending on what level of English they speak are funded at 3 different levels (183 different languages served in 132 districts. [Michael Bennet: It cost DPS half of what the state provides to just test the kids, so what’s left to teach them?] GT: Programming includes differentiated instruction, affective guidance and counseling, and a variety of content options to meet the diverse areas of giftedness. At Risk: Federal mandates to support at-risk kids and there is federal support called Title I money. -Without going into too much detail, and understanding that the categories overlap in various ways, it is important to recognize that each of these groups at this time is being inadequately addressed in terms of our investments. -We must get better at teaching kids and preparing students for the workforce and helping them each reach their potential, but as a state, we need to match our words with our investments.
  • What does Great Ed do?
  • Transcript

    • 1. Great Futures Start with a Great Education CAGT Legislative Day February 18, 2010
    • 2. Great Education Colorado: A statewide, nonpartisan, grassroots organization that is focused on improving education in Colorado through wise, increased investment in our schools, colleges and universities. Great Futures Colorado Campaign: A diverse and growing coalition of organizations working together for improved investment P-20 public education – including Great Ed, CAGT, Colorado PTA, Council of Churches, ARC of Douglas & Arapahoe, Padres Unidos . . .
    • 3.
      • Individual attention/smaller class sizes
      • Inspired, inspiring, quality teaching
      • Updated classroom technology (& textbooks)
      • Well-rounded curriculum
      • Pre-School and Full Day Kindergarten
      What parents want for our kids:
    • 4. How is Colorado doing?
      • 42nd in per pupil funding (adjusted for cost of living)
      • $1,397 below the national average in per pupil spending
      • 42 nd in pupil to teacher ratio
      • 40 th in technology in our schools
      • 48 th in per capita spending on higher education
    • 5. 6
      • What do we want for our kids?
      • {Optional: Discussion Element}
      *** Colorado: 48th Higher Ed Funding (per capita)
    • 6. How did we get here?
    • 7. Consequences for GT Policy
      • Hypothetical: How would we design a plan to meet needs of GT kids?
        • Road analogy
        • Identify, plan, cost out, implement
      • How does Colorado actually budget for GT?
        • Pick a number and work backwards
        • $9 million in 2009-10
        • About $135 per identified GT student (average in 2007)
        • What does $135 do?
    • 8. But it’s not just GT: Pitting kids against kids
      • Special Education – Colorado pays just a fraction of the additional costs for children with special needs.
      • English Language Learners – $293 per student (2008-09)
      • At-risk – only 12% extra (free lunch only) on top of a nation-lagging base.
    • 9.
      • Amendment 23 is being reinterpreted – allowing deep cuts
      • Federal stimulus dollars end this year, worsening the cliff for K-12 and higher ed next year
      • Proposed cuts:
      • 6-10% (after 2% last year)
      • $400 - $500 per pupil average
      • $400+ million statewide
    • 10.
      • What Can We Do?
      • Tell the story of the causes and costs of school finance crisis.
      • Ask questions! Hold state leaders accountable.
      • Help build the network of people who will work for change.
      • Great Education Colorado provides easy tools to do this.
    • 11. Tell the Story …
    • 12. Great Education Colorado Tools
      • Stay informed (FAQs, Facebook, blog, action alerts).
      • Sign the Great Futures Pledge
      • Join the Great Futures Campaign
    • 13. Contact Information Lisa Weil Policy / Communications Director Great Education Colorado 303-722-5901 [email_address]