Colorado Children’s Campaign Supports Amendment 73

Written by: Leslie Colwell
Date Posted: August 10, 2018

This fall, Colorado voters will have an opportunity to move our school financing system into the 21st century. If approved, Amendment 73 would restructure our antiquated and inequitable school finance system and give schools the resources they need to recruit and retain high-quality teachers, ensure students are ready for college and careers, and give communities local control over how new money will be spent.

The measure was carefully designed by school leaders from across the state and is supported by educators, school boards, advocates and many more. It would raise our base funding per student from among the lowest in the nation to $7,300 per student. It would increase support for critical early childhood programs and support full-day kindergarten across the state.

Amendment 73 would be built on the principle of equity for students facing the most barriers to success with investments targeted toward kids in households with low incomes, students learning English, students with special education needs, and students identified as gifted and talented. See below for more details on the initiative.

This week, the Colorado Secretary of State verified enough signatures for Amendment 73 to be included on the statewide ballot in November. In July, proponents of the measure submitted the signatures of 180,000 registered voters from across Colorado to qualify the measure for the ballot. The Colorado Children’s Campaign supports Amendment 73 and applauds Coloradans for demonstrating their desire to see it considered by voters.

“This measure is an opportunity to put kids at the center of our school funding system and strengthen the future of our state,” Kelly Causey, President and CEO of the Children’s Campaign, said in a statement this week. “We support Amendment 73 because it includes foundational, statewide investments in the critical early years, including preschool and full-day kindergarten. We support it because it would provide adequate funding to meet the unique needs of all students – investments which research have shown to have a strong link to student success.”

Amendment 73 would progressively increase taxes on federal taxable income above $150,000 so 92 percent of Colorado taxpayers would see no impact on their individual income taxes. It would also increase the corporate income tax rate by 1.37 percent, from 4.63 percent to 6 percent.

The measure also directs the Colorado legislature to correct our decades-old funding formula so it is more equitable; stabilizes property tax systems to make funding more sustainable over time; and requires ongoing accountability for how districts spend the additional funding.

“Amendment 73 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create an education financing system that is more adequate, modern, equitable and sustainable. This is the first step in removing structural barriers to opportunity and ensuring every chance for every child to succeed. We strongly urge Coloradans to vote yes in November,” Causey said.

View our one-page overview of the measure and reasons the Children’s Campaign supports it below. For more information about Amendment 73, including breakdowns of local funding impact by state Senate district, visit the Great Schools, Thriving Communities website. The full language of the ballot measure is available on the Secretary of State’s website.

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.