Democrats go after Stapleton on education

DENVER — An old videotape, a rally, and a new website.

Democrats in Colorado went after GOP nominee for governor Walker Stapleton on Tuesday — citing a videotape from several years ago.

“We’re already spending too much unchecked money as it is on education. … This is money that could be used for corrections services,” Stapleton says in the videotape.

The comment, made from 2010, is the inspiration for the Democratic-backed website FundSchoolsNotPrisons.com. 

In addition to the website, Democrats held a rally at the Capitol featuring the Colorado Education Association and Democrat Jared Polis’ former primary opponent Cary Kennedy.

Stapleton’s campaign criticized Democrats for not including an important part of what Stapleton said in their “headline quote,” saying Stapleton said: “We’re already spending too much unchecked money as it is on education and we don’t have enough money to go around. This is money that could be used for corrections services.”

Jerrod Dobkin, a spokesman with the Stapleton campaign, issued a response.

“Walker has always advocated for more accountability in education spending and has a plan to make sure education dollars reach the classroom and is used for teacher pay, not out-of-control administrative costs. In response to Walker’s common sense education agenda, far-left democrats decided to play political games and are being dishonest with Coloradans in the process. If Carry Kennedy and Jared Polis really cared about student success, they would be talking about where taxpayer money is going, instead of asking taxpayers for more.”

Education is an issue quickly emerging as a main topic in the race.

In addition to a separate income  tax increase question for education funding that will appear on the ballot, both campaigns have highlighted their positions recently.

Stapleton is advocating for streamlining administrative costs so more can be spent in the classroom while also advocating for a school supply tax free holiday.

Polis is pushing for full funding for preschool and kindergarten.

Polis’ plan pays for the expansion in education by also streamlining spending, utilizing public private partnerships and if necessary going to voters for bonding or if necessary tax increases.

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