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November 17, 2011 09:08 PM UTC

Education Funding: Well, Folks?

  • by: Colorado Pols

As the Pueblo Chieftain’s Patrick Malone reports:

Colorado has not met the legal minimum for funding schools since 2008, and a budget analyst said Wednesday that projections show the trend will continue through the 2015-16 budget cycle.

A staff economist told Joint Budget Committee members that if the cuts to education persist, Colorado could be on a road to falling short of the most basic constitutional requirement to provide a “thorough and uniform” public education system. Meanwhile, the state already is facing a lawsuit that claims it doesn’t meet that standard.

JBC staffer Carolyn Kampman recommended the General Assembly consider changing the laws that govern school finance in the state to rectify its structural deficiencies.

“I’m projecting by 2015-16 you won’t even have enough money to meet Amendment 23,” Kampman said…

She recommended the Legislature consider changes to the school finance formula, revamping Amendment 23 or seek increased revenue to comply with its most basic constitutional obligation.

According to Joint Budget Committee staff, the state would have to increase education funding by over $800 million in order to fully fund the system as prescribed by law. As you know, the proposed budget from John Hickenlooper proposes another $89 million in cuts, not increases. And what happens in 2015 when we violate, with no sleight-of-hand able to any longer conceal, the constitutional education funding mandates of Amendment 23? Is the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR) the only part of the Colorado Constitution that matters?

Hey, maybe we could temporarily raise sales and income taxes! (please click here)

Anyway, apparently we’re going to have to do something, folks. Got any ideas?


22 thoughts on “Education Funding: Well, Folks?

  1. Not until bridges fall down, the roads are full of potholes, there are 50 kids in a class, and it costs less to go to college out of state.

    And it will barely pass.

    Yeah, that’s a deeply cynical view.


    Exhibit A: The Republican field vying for the presidential nomination.

    Exhibit B: The negotiating prowess of elected Democrats.

    1. Why not expand this state #1 economic resource, energy? Let’s grow the economy and the tax base.

      Beyond that, it’s time to consider a repeal of Amendment 23. It sits on top of other, older constitutional amendments and conflicts with them. Education doesn’t need more money, it needs structural reform and innovation.

      65% of the state spoke clearly this month. Now it’s up to Democrats to listen.

        1. Colorado has a billion barrels in the Niobrara Formation. We have more kerogen in oil shale than Saudi Arabia has oil. And the Piceance Basin is a treasure trove of 100 years of natural gas.

          Oh yeah, wind power and Obama-funded solar plants too! Colorado is an energy state any way you slice it.

          1. I thought so.

            I kind of doubted that you had anything other than absurd oily booster blurbs…

            By ‘posting something’ I meant more than empty bullet points, I meant–rather–something that demonstrated you weren’t just a fart machine…even Herman Cain can repeat talking points, when he can find the right one twirlin’ about in his head.  Can you ever demonstrate that you know what you are talking about?  I am skeptical that you can (or do).  

            Kerogen is not oil, and it is spread out over 16000 square miles…  requires 100% surface disturbance, still unknown amounts of water, still unknown where massive energy loads would come from to mine/retort/heat…

            I’m sure that repeating vacuous talking points works with people you know, deficit of facts or merely stupid, but it doesn’t sell here.  Rather its more like standing on a box and shouting that you are an idiot…

            Just sayin’  

      1. If A-23 sits “on top of other, older constitutional amendments and conflicts with them”, doesn’t that mean that the voters, having seen the effects of those other, older constitutional amendments, decided, you know, to AMEND them?

        Furthermore, the base Colorado Constitution – no amendments – provides the following:

        The general assembly shall, as soon as practicable, provide for the establishment and maintenance of a thorough and uniform system of free public schools throughout the state, wherein all residents of the state, between the ages of six and twenty-one years, may be educated gratuitously.

        The state has already figured out what it’s like to be in violation of that provision – Court-ordered increases to education funding.

        The state’s current financial mess requires more than some glib “just cut it” attitude – by law it either requires a rewriting of the state constitution or an increase in education spending.  Whether or not that increase comes with a matching revenue stream depends on the voters.

        1. than we give ourselves credit.

          … may be educated gratuitously.

          One definition of gratuitous is: not called for by the circumstances.

          We’ve got that one covered. Almost as well as Mississippi.

  2. First off the problem is not solely funding, but funding is a big part of the problem – including for higher ed. And the lack of qualified workers is the main limiting factor for high-tech jobs in this state. (And note to ArapaGOP, high-tech arguable provides more jobs than energy in this state.)

    How bad is it? One of the start-ups here in Boulder has purchased ads on the sides of buses advertising their openings.

  3. Private schools were good enough for my parents’ and grandparents’  generations.  And for everyone prior to the 19th c.

    We aren’t going to catch up to China or India  (or S Korea) in production of engineers and scientists – why should we try?

    Colorado has no shortage of college grads.  That we have to import them from other states is no big deal.  Let’s save the money and gut higher ed….and without publicly funded higher ed, no need for college readiness at hs graduation…and the certificate in auto maintenance or HVAC installation doesn’t really require a hs diploma, so no need to actually graduate.

    Hell, once students learn that obedience is why they are in school, game over.  Most of them can learn that by 8th or 9th grade.  Sooner but for the deadbeat parents.

    We don’t need schools – we just need more prayer and God.

    And it can only help that anyone thinks the local quarterback is Jesus.

      1. Our legislators and party officials are so scared of what the people might do that they are willing to let the state just go to hell.  Never mind that it is the people who came up with the constitution to begin with.

        So, it looks like screwing around is the order of the day.  Thanks, oligarchy.

        1. Our legislators and party officials are so scared of what the people might do . . .

          . . .  Doug Bruce, John Andrews, John Caldara, Ken Buck, . . . the list of frightfully scary people in this state is nearly endless.

          1. You might get one or more of them in the convention.  But each state Senate district gets two representatives, which will dilute the crazy.  In addition, the new constitution would have to be approved by a vote of the people as a whole.  See my old diary at… for more details.

            I’m willing to bet that there were just as many crazy people around in the 1870s, and yet we got a reasonable constitution.

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