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  • Thank you for this opportunity today to talk about education investment in Colorado. Colorado has a severe school funding crisis, it affects every district, every education institution, every student. As we think about education as the base from which so much is affected, the prosperity of our economy, the potential of our workforce, and the health of our communities. Tom Clark, VP of the Denver Metro Chamber said,
  • [LET THEM READ MISSION STATEMENT] We believe Colorado must provide adequate and equalized funding for public schools so that all Colorado children have access to an excellent, comprehensive education that prepares them for the 21st century global economy. NEXT SLIDE
  • [LET THEM READ MISSION STATEMENT] We believe Colorado must provide adequate and equalized funding for public schools so that all Colorado children have access to an excellent, comprehensive education that prepares them for the 21st century global economy. NEXT SLIDE
  • Can’t measure all those things, so we look at proxies. Data comparisons for Colorado and the rest of the nation.
  • HOW LOW CAN HIGHER ED GO? It’s not just K-12. Higher ed funding is also dismal. In fact, even more so since it was thrown a life line this year from federal stimulus dollars that disappear next year. The Governor’s Office has proposed a 9% tuition hike. *[Per capita = amount of funding spent by state divided by Colorado’s population.]
  • This graph shows how Colorado compares to the rest of the nation in school funding over the past 30 years. The black line represents the national average on per-pupil funding. The red line is where Colorado stands in per pupil spending as compared to the national average. This is really a tale about three Constitutional Amendments passed by the people of Colorado over the past 28 years - The Gallagher Amendment, Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) and Amendment 23, and the graph reveals their impact on the availability of resources for our schools and kids. As you can see, Colorado’s investment in education in comparison to the rest of the nation has fallen dramatically, a trend which continues with alarming speed. The fiscal policies of the past 28 years have prevented the state from adequately investing in K-12 education, higher education and other critical state services. Unfortunately, things aren’t looking better in the immediate future. In fact, they look worse. Until we as a state, vote to change the way we budget and fund our schools, Colorado can expect to fall further and further behind the rest of the nation. _________________________________________ Let’s start with the passage of the Gallagher Amendment in 1982 (represented by the green vertical line). As you can see, at that time Colorado actually funded its schools approximately $200 above the national average. Gallagher’s goal was to reduce property taxes and it was very successful in its mission. Property taxes used to be the major source for education funding, but Gallagher, combined with the passage of a subsequent amendment known as TABOR (Tax Payer’s Bill of Rights), changed all that. Now it is the State’s general fund that is the major source of funding for our schools. The state has had to replace revenue lost in property taxes. As a result, the greater demand on the state budget for funding schools has taken funds away from other critical services such as higher education, transportation, prisons, and health care. As mentioned, in 1992 Coloradoans passed TABOR, the most restrictive spending limitation on any state in the country. It has constrained the state ’ s ability to keep and use the revenue it collects for the general fund. As a result, the state doesn ’ t have the resources to invest in education, let alone other critical services such as health care, transportation, prisons, and higher education. The graph vividly shows how, since the passage of TABOR, Colorado ’ s investment in education has dramatically fallen in comparison to the rest of the nation. As a result, Coloradoans grew concerned. In 2000, Amendment 23 was passed as an attempt to thwart the downward spiral in education funding. At that time, spending was already about $700 below the national average. Amendment 23 requires the state to increase school funding each year for 10 years by 1% plus inflation. Though it is hard to imagine what would have happened if Amendment 23 didn’t pass, the chart shows Colorado continues to fall further and further behind the rest of the country in education funding. Today, Amendment 23 has returned Colorado to the level of funding we had in 1989 in real dollars.
  • 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. -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.
  • Denver - $33.8 million Aurora - $16.4 million Cherry Creek - $12 to $13 million Jefferson - $30 to $40 million Littleton - $7.5 million St.Vrain (Longmont) - $11 million Pueblo - $4.9 million Thompson School District (Loveland) $5.2 million Grand Junction - $1.64 million Delta School District (Rural SW) - $2 million
  • This online map of Colorado allows you to find video, written, stories and local newspaper coverage of education cuts, from early childhood education through higher ed. It documents the “REAL” story of what our students are dealing with. In addition, you can put your name on a petition that asks state elected leaders to look at this map and consider the impact of more education cuts on our students.

Latina advocacy day Latina advocacy day Presentation Transcript

  • Great Futures Start with a Great Education Latino/a Advocacy Day March 14, 2010
  • Mission: Great Education Colorado is a statewide, nonpartisan, grassroots organization, focused on improving public education through wise, increased and equitable investment in our schools, colleges and universities.
  • “ This is the civil rights issue of our generation. The fight for a quality education is about so much more than education. It's a fight for social justice.” -- Arne Duncan
  • How is Colorado doing?
    • 40 th in per pupil funding (42 nd adjusted for cost of living)
    • $1,397 below the national average in per pupil spending ($1,919 adjusted for cost of living)
    • 38 th in pupil to teacher ratio
    • 41 st in technology in our schools
    • 42 nd /46 th in poverty achievement gap measures
    • 48 th in per capita spending on higher education
  • *** Colorado: 48th Higher Ed Funding (per capita) How Low Can Higher Ed Go?
  • Why the gap?
    • Colorado law supports/requires:
    • Support for diverse learners
    • Teacher Effectiveness
    • Dropout prevention
    • Parent Involvement
    • Closing the Achievement Gap
    • Full-day Kindergarten/Early Childhood Ed
    • Accessible Post-Secondary opportunities
    Where Funding and Policy Meet
  • Support for Diverse Learners
    • At-Risk – 12% (<$1000) added to total district per-pupil funding for each at-risk student.
    • Special Education – High % of unreimbursed costs compared to other states.
    • English Language Learners – $293 per student (2008-09). Colorado: districts cover 95% of ELL costs.
    • Gifted and Talented – In 2007-08, state funded 18% of cost for all districts to educate GT students. Average $135 per identified child.
  • Unfunded Goals & Mandates
    • Teacher Effectiveness (mentoring, induction, etc.)
        • State funding – $0
    • Dropout Prevention – “Office of Dropout Prevention and Student Reenagement” – $150,000 & $0
    • Counselor Corps eliminated
    • Parent Involvement Grant Program – $0
    • Closing the Achievement Gap Program – $1.8 million on the JBC chopping block
    • New Standards (CAP4K)
  • Restricting Progress
    • Early Childhood/Full-Day Kindergarten
      • Progress halted in adding CPP slots
      • Progress halted in reaching full-day K
      • Limits on progress – e.g. HB1035 (eligibility)
    • Accessible post-secondary opportunities
      • Tuition increases
      • Limited financial aid
      • Career Technical Education
  • Proposed Cuts to P-12 Education in 2010-11 Statewide – 8.8% $508 million Over $600 per student Tough Decisions: Cut school days; close schools; increase class size; freeze wages/reduce benefits; teacher layoffs; eliminate/charge for transportation; eliminate art/music/ electives; cut instructional coach and literacy staff… Estimated 5000 jobs. 2011-12 – Deeper Cuts expected.
  • Higher Ed Funding Cliff 2011 End of federal stimulus dollars, no new revenues and loss of “maintenance of effort” add up to spending cliff.
  • When will it get better?
    • What Can We Do?
    • Lobby! Tell the story of what’s happening to schools and demand a long-term solution. Make the connection between good policy and resources.
    • Join with others to fight for improved investment in our kids, schools, colleges and universities.
  • Great Futures Colorado Campaign Coalition of community organizations that advocates for implementation of, and adequate funding for, an education system that will prepare all children for the challenges of the 21st century – as outlined in the “core principles.”
  • Campaign Members so far … Associated Students of Colorado Children’s Voices Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented Colorado Council of Churches Colorado PTA Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition Every Child Matters George Washington High School International Baccalaureate Board Great Education Colorado Impact on Education Justice and Peace Ministry Team – Rocky Mountain Conference United Church of Christ Kyffin Elementary PTA Lewis Palmer DAAC Padres Unidos Partnership for Families and Children Rural Caucus (Rural school board members) The Arc of Arapahoe and Douglas Counties Women Informed Network
  • The Great Futures Map & Petition greateducation.org/map
  • For More Information Lisa Weil Policy Director Great Education Colorado 303-722-5901 [email_address] www.greateducation.org