Children’s Campaign Endorses Measure 2A

Written by: Leslie Colwell
Date Posted: October 23, 2015

oct2The Colorado Children’s Campaign joins a long list of supporters of Measure 2A, a Denver ballot referendum. If approved, this measure, also known as College Matters, will establish a College Affordability Fund that will collect an estimated $10.6 million per year to increase college access and affordability for Denver high school graduates.

In the next five years, 75 percent of jobs in Denver will require post-secondary degrees, but only 43 percent of Denver residents over the age of 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher. The Children’s Campaign supports this measure because it will increase college enrollment among Denver’s graduates and ensure a home-grown educated workforce for Denver’s future.

College tuition in Colorado has increased by 50 percent during the past five years, leaving many talented and dedicated Denver kids without college options. The need-based aid would provide students up to $4,000 a year toward college costs, provided they demonstrate progress towards a degree or certificate.

The measure would enable grants that would be used in two ways: to reimburse scholarship-granting foundations (such as the Latin American Education Fund or the Denver Scholarship Foundation) or to provide debt relief to students who are not served by those organizations. Funds would be collected via a sales tax increase of eight pennies on every $100. The idea is modeled in part on the sales tax that funds the Denver Preschool Program, which the Children’s Campaign supported in both its establishment and reauthorization.

Education is the key to increasing incomes, job prospects and economic mobility. By voting YES on Meaure 2A we can ensure that more Denver graduates are able to access and afford the post-secondary education that will secure their future.

Leslie Colwell

About Leslie Colwell

Leslie Colwell serves as the Vice President of K-12 Education Initiatives, leading the Campaign’s work to improve education in the state of Colorado. Before joining the Children’s Campaign in August of 2014, Leslie worked to facilitate partnerships and produce policy agreements, especially in the area of education as an Associate at the Keystone Center. Her professional experience includes working as Legislative Director for State Senator Mike Johnston, managing his education policy portfolio (including his office’s work on HB12-1238, Colorado’s READ Act, and SB13-033, ASSET), and directing a policy fellowship for educators for three summers. Leslie has also worked on Teach For America’s alumni team, and before that taught 6th grade Math and Earth Science as a TFA corps member at Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School in Los Angeles. She currently serves on the board of the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy & Research Organization (CLLARO) and on the steering committee of the Colorado Afterschool Partnership.