The Governor’s office submitted requests today to the Joint Budget Committee (JBC) for adjustments in public education funding. JBC members are in the midst of intense, strategic discussions to maintain reasonable funding levels for all state services during the General Assembly. Their task to accommodate many needs with limited resources is precarious; however, members of the Colorado Education Association do not believe compromises should be made at the expense of public school children.
“We were encouraged from last year’s session of legislators to hear a commitment to parents, educators and taxpayers that the state share of funding would be maintained for quality public schools regardless of local revenues,” said CEA President Kerrie Dallman. “We view any increase in local funds as an opportunity to invest in our local communities, and provide adequate school funding that nurtures and prepares our children to receive a world class education.
“Reductions in funding would limit the potential of future presidents, CEOs, owners and leaders who currently occupy classrooms throughout the state,” she added.
As the educators who help to shape the futures of Colorado’s capable and committed young people, CEA members are deeply distressed at the damage any budget cuts will inflict on tomorrow’s leaders.
“Supporting Colorado public schools is supporting Colorado’s citizens and communities,” said Dallman. “Colorado is a state that draws talent from all over the country. As Governor Hickenlooper said in his State of the State address, developing a world-class talent pipeline is critical to attracting more business and investment in Colorado. We have the chance to create and perpetuate that same type of brilliance and innovation by investing now in our public school students.”
While the state faces formidable budget difficulties, Dallman is urging state legislators “to search for innovative solutions and to dedicate yourselves to the protection of our children and the future of our communities.” She noted CEA has always been an enthusiastic and collaborative partner with legislators and other leaders in resolving public school funding issues and will continue to share in that responsibility this session.