State investments in Colorado children have decreased 3 percent per year, on average, in the past five years after accounting for inflation and child population growth, according to the Colorado Children’s Budget 2013, an annual analysis by the Colorado Children’s Campaign released this week. Five years of state spending examined in the report shows that investments in child health, education and safety are not keeping up with a growing child population.
Less than a third of the state’s total spending is invested in children. In the current fiscal year, just less than 30 percent of state appropriations (from the state’s General Fund, cash funds and federal funds) were for services impacting children—down from 34 percent in the 2009-10 fiscal year.
“Children are our greatest asset, and that’s why Colorado invests significant resources in their healthy development and education,” said Chris Watney, President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “As the economy continues to recover, we must recognize that state investments in children during the past five years aren’t keeping up with inflation and child population growth. This isn’t a sustainable trend if we want to give every child in Colorado the opportunity for a bright future, and it doesn’t reflect the values of a state that is dedicated to ensuring that all kids succeed.”
The annual analysis by the state’s leading voice for kids serves as a resource for state leaders and policy makers as they examine how Colorado finances investments in children. The report breaks down spending into four areas: early childhood learning and development, child health, K-12 education and family and community support. Click here to read the top findings and download a PDF copy of the report.