As of this past September, Colorado currently leads the nation in four-day school weeks with over 61% of school districts having recently made this switch. Is this because we are the trendsetting, innovative trailblazers that the nation knows us to be? No, these four-day weeks were forced upon Colorado’s children due to funding cuts that have been the result of years of the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights chipping away at necessary funding.
The Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights, more commonly referred to as TABOR, has three main concepts: a clause that mandates both state and local governing bodies to have taxpayer approval before raising taxes, a flat tax rate, and a spending cap on revenue that cannot grow faster than the rate of inflation plus population growth. Any revenue above the TABOR limit in a given year, often called a “TABOR surplus,” must be refunded to taxpayers.
Colorado has seen a massive influx of people in recent years — an estimated 700,000 people have moved into the state since 2010. The result has been resources being spread thin as the spending cap has not increased with the population growth accordingly. Schools are under-funded and rank in the bottom fifth for lowest public school spending in the nation, CDOT has over $9 billion in backlogged projects, and vital public services within the state have suffered.
Colorado’s children are the next generation of leaders in our great state. It is our responsibility to ensure they have everything they might need to succeed.
Washington Park resident
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