Colorado Budget Impact on St Vrain


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Colorado is facing unprecedented budget challenges. How it's affecting the St. Vrain School District.

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  • Good morning and thank you for coming. My name is Paula Peairs and I’ve been part of GSV since 2008. Most of you know what GSV is. We are (read mission.) And since our humble beginnings with the 2008 MLO/Bond Issue, we’ve stayed a group of local caring citizens who want to continue to distribute knowledge about education-related issues in Colorado. Some examples of our growth over the past 3 years include 1) LSV which is a district sponsored group that grew out of GSV and now successfully educates involved parents about the “business of education” or how a 30,000 student district is run, 2) connecting with Great Education CO which we realized was important if we were to better understand state-level issues and what drives much of the decision making required at the local level, and 3) our participation with Great Futures CO which is a coalition of groups from around the state that supports stronger education in CO.Grassroots outreach has included 1) soliciting support for the DECIDE ballot initiative, which was considered by the CO legislature last spring and would have allowed voters to decide about increases in revenue for education, and 2) more recently educating members, PTOs and the community about the impact of Prop 101, Amend 60 & Amend 61 on the ballot last fall.But at the heart of it, we are all parents, community members and stakeholders in the SVVSD who can’t believe we’re still talking about millions of dollars in state education cuts for the third year in a row. When our 2008 MLO passed, we were so excited and so optimistic that this was the time that SVVSD was going to excel – we were primed to expand programs, update technology, update facilities, and take education to new heights in SVVSD. I remember when they started mowing the grass at my kid’s elementary school, I almost cried. Despite the economic downturn, our district has risen through the ranks in size and performance. Even with two consecutive years of massive education cuts, we have maintained class sizes and rigor and added program options. But now, with a third year of massive education cuts looming – our dollars are running out. During our outreach last fall to discuss Prop 101, Amend 60 & 61 we mentioned that 2/3 of the revenue raised from the MLO had already been wiped out by the state. Next year, it’s projected that all of the revenue raised will be offset by state cuts and funding levels will be below 2007.SVVSD recently held parent meetings and semi-annual feeder meetings to promote and facilitate understanding/appreciation of what’s going on in the SVVSD. (Our local education is not as horrible as ‘Waiting for Superman’ would lead us to believe.) But at the same time, all the work done at the district and school level is performed within the state framework. It’s really important for parents and advocates of education to understand the state education environment – because it’s hard to improve or even sustain education when budgets are being cuts by 100s of millions of dollars annually.  Our purpose today is to provide an overview of Colorado governance and how we, as parents/advocates for education, play a unique role in Colorado. Voters are the “directors” of state tax dollars – 50% of which go towards education funding. We know talking about state budgets, and ballot initiatives can make people uncomfortable. But the only way we can advocate for maintaining our kid’s education is to understand what drives it and how changes to education funding will affect staffing and programs. You may agree or disagree with the impact of education cuts. But understanding the mechanics within the education system is critical.John Creighton is the President of the SVVSD BOE and also does work for Colorado Non Profit Association. We are very happy to have John here today to share a presentation with us.
  • Moderator notes:This slide compares percentage change in funding to population and inflation over the past five years.K-12 “Should Have Been” is the amount of proposed K-12 funding compared to the amount had Amendment 23 been funded as it was in the past.The governor and legislature have reinterpreted Amendment 23 to reduce the amount of funds directed toward K-12 education.
  • Moderator notes:This slide compares percentage change in funding to population and inflation over the past five years.K-12 “Should Have Been” is the amount of proposed K-12 funding compared to the amount had Amendment 23 been funded as it was in the past.The governor and legislature have reinterpreted Amendment 23 to reduce the amount of funds directed toward K-12 education.
  • Moderator notes:This slide begins the section that focuses on the essence of Colorado’s challenge: The state is growing faster than revenues to fund public services. It is important to connect Connect Colorado’s challenge to an example people can imagine in their own life.You may want to think of a hypothetical situation more relevant to your audience. For instance, if you are speaking with service providers you might ask them to imagine that their caseload increases by 20% but their budget remains the same.
  • Moderator notes:This slide is intended to convey that people across the political spectrum agree that we have a long term fiscal challenge that won’t go away when the economy recovers. The disagreements are over how to solve this problem.The Independence Institute is one of the most conservative groups in the state. They issued a white paper called, Citizens’ Budget, in December 2010.The white paper makes clear that Colorado’s budget gaps are not caused by the economy or “waste, fraud, and abuse.”
  • Moderator notes:Colorado’s tax collections are declining more than the national average. It also shows that Colorado collects far less tax revenue as a percentage of people’s personal income even when the economy is good.
  • Learn…Share…GrowYou came here tonight to learn about the challenges facing our community and others across the stateTake what you have learned and share it with your family, friends and neighbors.Help us grow Grassroots St Vrain so we can continue to have a positive impact on our community.And today we are asking you to go beyond learning…sharing…and growing. We are asking you to act.Inaction is NO longer an option. The leadership on this issue has to come from grassroots efforts.Volunteers will determine whether this initiative gets on the ballot. We do not have huge institutional investors to pay for this effort.SignaturesWe need more that 85,000 valid signatures of current registered voters by July 23rd in order for this measure to be on our ballot in November.  That means we need to collect 130,000-150,000 signatures across the state.  That’s where you come in! Grassroots St Vrain has committed to collecting 10,000 signatures. JUNE 4this the 1st Deadline for Signature Collection – we want to be done my then so we can rest before a campaign would begin.How are we going to do this?  Carry petitions with you to the multiple May gatherings to collect signatures. - sporting events, book clubs, family reunions, end of year parties and PTA meetings are all great places to collect signatures.   Take it to work!  Take it with you to your religious organizations, rotary /community meetings and leads groups.  Forward a link to all of your friends or post it on Facebook!  Let us know if you are a member of a group that one of us could make a presentation to, like this one tonight.  You can sign up to man a table at a community event this summer such as a festival or Farmer’s Market.  If you are a notary you could donate some time to notarizing the packets, with a specific time and place for people to drop in and turn in their signatures.Together, if we each put in a little effort, we CAN make this happen. Even if you are undecided on how you would vote on the measure, don’t you think we as the people of Colorado should have the chance to decide?  This is our responsibility as Colorado voters, to decide how budgets should be funded. It’s how our Constitution is set up to let Democracy work the way the people decide.Let’s take responsibility for our own community, our own state, and keep the future bright for all of Colorado.
  • Colorado Budget Impact on St Vrain

    1. 1. Grassroots St Vrain is an independent, non-partisan organization made up of nearly 1,000 volunteers committed to informing and activating citizens on education related issues in the greater <br />St. Vrain Valley towns of Colorado.<br /><ul><li>2008 MLO / Bond Issue
    2. 2. Leadership St. Vrain
    3. 3. Great Education Colorado
    4. 4. Great Futures Colorado
    5. 5. DECIDE ballot initiative
    6. 6. Prop 101, Amendments 60 & 61
    7. 7. What’s to come?</li></li></ul><li>Fiscal Education Network<br />A project of the <br />Colorado Nonprofit Association<br />2<br />
    8. 8. P<br />An Unprecedented Challenge<br />Colorado is facing an unprecedented, long-term fiscal challenge. <br />Even a strong recovery and sustained job growth over the next 15 years is not enough [to solve the budget problems]. (DU: Center for Colorado’s Economic Future)<br />The costs to maintain public services exceed the revenues to pay for them.<br />3<br />
    9. 9. Public attitudes toward budget crisis?<br />Pew Research Center February 2011<br />4<br />
    10. 10. Public attitudes toward budget crisis?<br />Pew Research Center February 2011<br />5<br />
    11. 11. Colorado General Fund Spending(2011-2012 estimates)<br />6<br /><br />
    12. 12. P<br />Colorado Spending<br />Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, 2009<br />7<br />
    13. 13. P<br />Colorado Spending<br />Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute, 2009<br />8<br />
    14. 14. P<br />Waste, Fraud & Abuse?<br />9<br />“Focusing on trimming the fat fails to address Colorado’s systemic budgetary problems.” - Independence Institute, Citizens’ Budget<br />Estimates of the magnitude of our challenge: 5 to 30 times greater.<br />
    15. 15. P<br />The State Has Grown<br />Since 2001:<br />700,000 more Coloradans<br />70,000 more students in K-12<br />35,000 more college students<br />150,000 more Medicaid recipients<br />2,500 more prisoners<br />Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute and U.S. Census<br />10<br />
    16. 16. P<br />State Revenues Haven’t Kept Pace<br />Colorado Legislative Services and Fiscal Policy Institute<br />11<br />
    17. 17. P<br />Why Don’t Revenues Keep Up?<br />Voters chose:<br />Strict limits on homeowner property tax<br />Strict limits on state sales and income tax revenues<br />Voter approval of any new tax increase<br />Legislators chose:<br />Cut sales and income taxes in 1990s and early 2000s<br />Other factors:<br />Recession<br />~40% health care inflation over past decade<br />Aging population with more health care needs<br />12<br />
    18. 18. P<br />Taxes are Comparatively Low<br />Legislative Council <br />13<br />
    19. 19. P<br />Taxes are Comparatively Low<br />Legislative Council * - Collected Locally <br />14<br />
    20. 20. P<br />Colorado Tax Rankings<br />Combined state and local tax burden = 34th<br />(Tax Foundation)<br />Best states for retiree taxes = 5th<br />(MSN Money)<br />Business tax climate = 15th<br />(Tax Foundation)<br />15<br />
    21. 21. P<br />Tax Collections Are in Decline<br />16<br />
    22. 22. P<br />Transportation Revenues Losing Value<br />Colorado Department of Transportation<br />17<br />
    23. 23. P<br />What happens when…<br />Demand for public services grows more than revenues<br />State required to maintain a balanced budget<br />Legislators run out of one time “tricks”<br />18<br />
    24. 24. P<br />Public services must be cut…<br />Governor Hickenlooper letter to JBC and Office of State Planning and Budgeting<br />19<br />
    25. 25. P<br />Public services must be cut…<br />Governor Hickenlooper letter to JBC and Office of State Planning and Budgeting<br />20<br />
    26. 26. P<br />K-12 Education Needs?<br />Education News Colorado<br />21<br />
    27. 27. P<br />Higher Education Needs?<br />Colorado Department of Higher Education<br />22<br />
    28. 28. Estimated Spending Needs for Select Service Areas<br />23<br />CU Denver School of Public Affairs<br />
    29. 29. Impact on St. Vrain<br />Ed News Colorado and St. Vrain Valley School District<br />
    30. 30. Impact on St. Vrain$21 Million Less<br />Source: St. Vrain Valley School District<br />
    31. 31. Local v Statewide Tax InitiativesFood for thought…<br />
    32. 32. Our Aspirations and Priorities<br /><ul><li>Be the first choice for St. Vrain families
    33. 33. Maintain classroom experience
    34. 34. Increase and improve instruction time for students
    35. 35. Expand course offerings and focus programs
    36. 36. Upgrade technology to ensure it is a learning asset
    37. 37. Support teachers to succeed at the job we’re asking of them
    38. 38. Empower families to take more responsibility
    39. 39. Minimize impact on working families and our community</li></li></ul><li>P<br />“Expect more cuts.”<br />“The state budget should expect cuts of the same magnitude in 2012, although not necessarily to schools.”<br />- Gov. Hickenlooper’s budget director, Henry Sobanet<br />Durango Herald, February 16, 2011<br />28<br />
    40. 40. P<br />Colorado Voters must Decide<br />“[T]he ball is back in the voters’ court. It now is up to the people of Colorado to decide what kind of place they want their state to be.”<br /><ul><li>Durango Herald, February 16, 2011</li></ul>29<br />
    41. 41. P<br />Learn More<br /><ul><li> by Engaged Public —
    42. 42. Bell Policy Center —
    43. 43. Center for Colorado’s Economic Future (DU) —
    44. 44. Colorado Department of Higher Education —
    45. 45. Colorado Fiscal Policy Institute —
    46. 46. Colorado Tax Tracks —
    47. 47. Independence Institute’s Citizens’ Budget —
    48. 48. U C Denver School of Public Affairs —</li></ul>30<br />
    49. 49. P<br />Learn More<br />Colorado Nonprofit Association<br />Renny Fagan:<br />Andrew Lindstad:<br />303.832.5710<br /><br />Fiscal Education Network<br />John Creighton:; 303.682.0907<br />31<br />
    50. 50. What can you do?<br /><ul><li>Talk to your family, friends and neighbors about what you have learned tonight.
    51. 51. Collect email addresses to grow the Grassroots St Vrain contact lists and strengthen our local community network.
    52. 52. Sign the petition to put Senator Heath’s proposition on the ballot.
    53. 53. Carry a petition with you to collect signatures from your family, friends, and neighbors. Get trained tonight in only 15 minutes!!</li>