Gov. undecided over school ballot measure |

Gov. undecided over school ballot measure

DENVER — Gov. John Hickenlooper is still trying to decide whether to back a ballot measure this fall seeking a $1 billion tax increase to pay for a new system for administering state education funds, one of several proposals to fix Colorado’s complex funding problems.

Hickenlooper said it would be unwise to put more money into the school system unless the structure is changed.

The latest bipartisan group of education planners is trying to figure out whether to count on Hickenlooper’s full support to pay for the School Finance Act, which revamps the formula for distributing education funds statewide.

The changes approved by lawmakers include statewide full-day kindergarten and more money for preschool and at-risk students. The new law also calls for money to implement school reforms such as a new teacher evaluation formula that takes effect next school year.

Ideas for raising the money include a higher flat state income tax or a tiered system based on taxpayer income.

Voters will consider a tax increase in November, but the specifics of the plan haven’t been released.

“We have to make sure it’s the right one,” Hickenlooper said in an interview Wednesday with The Denver Post.

In May, Hickenlooper signed a mammoth bill revising how state tax dollars should be used to fund public education, but it left out how it would be funded.

Two dozen proposed tax increases and changes have been submitted as possible ballot measures, most of them income tax hikes.

It’s still unclear which tax measure advocacy groups plan to petition onto ballots.

— The Associated Press

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