Colorado Amendment 73 - We don't need no education

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Colorado Amendment 73 is entitled "Funding for Public Schools." This Amendment would enact a change to the Colorado Constitution, and so requires a "yes" vote of 55% to pass. According to the Secretary of State's office, it was placed on the ballot by citizen petition.

The gist of this Amendment is desire to increase funding for public schools by raising the individual income tax rate for filers who make more than $150,000 a year, increasing the corporate income tax rate, and increasing property tax on residential properties.

The following groups are in favor of this Amendment:
The following groups are opposed to this Amendment:
Based on my research, it appears that this Amendment is split along party lines (shocking, I know). The Think of the Children liberals want this to pass. The no-tax, voucher-loving conservatives do not.

This makes perfect sense to me. Teachers, people who live in areas where schools are underfunded, and bleeding heart liberals who think public education is the heart of American democracy want this to pass so there's more money funneling into public education state-wide. Their arguments boil down to the contention that people with more money should bear the brunt of fixing the situation.

Libertarians, "no new taxes" adherents, and school voucher supporters want this to fail so their taxes don't go up and so they can make a case for using public monies to pay for their kids' private educations. Their arguments boil down to taxes = bad, and the infamous "do more with less" trope.

So this is the quintessential conflict in values between the haves and the have-nots.

Here are some things to consider when making your decision on this issue:
  • Over half of Colorado School Districts are operating on a four day week because they can't afford a five day week. 
  • In the last eight years education funding has been cut by $7.2 billion. 
  • An increase in business, property, and income taxes may have a negative impact on Colorado's economy. 
  • The state legislature will not have the power to redirect money earmarked for education to other uses. 
So this is primarily a question of the redistribution of wealth to fund public education.

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