Press Release: Educators Appreciate Gov. Polis Allocating Federal Assistance to Meet Increased Student Needs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 18, 2020

DENVER – Statement from Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association, on Gov. Polis’ announcement of prioritizing $500 million in federal funding for K-12 public education:

“Educators are encouraged by today’s news that Gov. Polis has prioritized $500 million in federal funding to shore up public education during the COVID-19 crisis. This one-time funding is a positive step forward in ensuring all students can succeed in school, whether they are learning in-person, at home or a combination of both. Districts were planning to make draconian budget cuts and this money will help cushion the blow to keep educators in their jobs and keep students learning. When school begins in August, these funds will be crucial in providing educators the necessary resources and supports to help students catch up due to distance learning this spring. These funds will address the increased mental health needs of students recovering from trauma and prepare schools to operate under the potential of new social distancing requirements.

“We appreciate the governor’s powerful investment in our students and educators, and we also still need long-term solutions to fix a broken funding structure that has taken vast opportunities away from our students over the last decade. The Budget Stabilization Factor has amounted to $8 billion in cuts to public education over the last decade, and we are still a long way from recovering from those cuts. Educators call on the Colorado legislature to explore the emergency tax provision in TABOR for immediate school revenue and tax relief, demand our senators in Washington pass the HEROES Act for state relief, and encourage all Coloradans to support Initiative #271 during the 2020 election to properly fund our public schools through a fair tax policy for all.”

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