Billions in Colorado school funding on the line as statewide tax, local bond issues crowd ballot
Amendment 73’s $1.6B education tax to be joined on ballot by unprecedented $1.5B in local school bond issues
Coloradans are so eager to fix their state’s schools, education supporters say, they will happily vote in November for an unprecedented $1.5 billion in local bond issues to build new classrooms as well as a separate $1.6 billion statewide tax measure to boost funding for every student and increase services to special programs.
“We’ve talked to hundreds of people, not only in Jefferson County but elsewhere, and they want all kids to be in safe and secure schools and get the programming they need to succeed,” said Westminster parent James Earley, who has been lobbying for the statewide proposal, Amendment 73, as well as Jefferson County’s $567 million bond issue. “I think people see the needs everywhere.”
Yet others fear the ballot will be packed with so many school-related funding requests that tax-averse voters confronted with the statewide measure and a bond issue or mill-levy override from their local school district — or all three — may simply reject them all.
“That’s a question every school district in the fall that has something on the ballot has had to wrestle with,” said Jefferson County School Superintendent Jason Glass. “We are monitoring how things are going with Amendment 73, while also thinking about our own ballot questions. And the answer is that nobody really knows what’s going to happen.”
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