FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2020
DENVER – Statement from Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association, on the May state budget forecast and funding for the 2020-21 school year:
“Public school students and educators are worthy of public support and investment, even during a crisis. While difficult budget decisions are required, they can’t continue to be made on the backs of students and educators. The legislature did that 10 years ago and public education has never recovered. More than $8 billion in debt from the Great Recession is still carried by students and educators. We cannot dig the hole even deeper for our students and expect they will overcome this burden and thrive as adults.
“School funding is crucial to fixing the disparities and inequities that divide our students into haves and have-nots, disproportionately affecting communities of color and lower income. Our reaction to this crisis must ensure that we don’t leave our most vulnerable students behind. Students are experiencing trauma now and their needs will be far greater when they return to school than when they left. Mental health supports and distance learning capabilities are today’s wise investments.
“Colorado needs to treat this downturn differently and prioritize public schools, students and educators. A crisis is not the time to cut public school investment and deny our students opportunity. The last thing anybody wants is further disruption in the lives of students. We can’t afford to repeat the mistakes of the past that rob students of their love for learning.”
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