DENVER — Education is a topic that will dominate the ballot at the local and state level in November and voters could decide multiple measures aimed at increasing teacher pay and improving school funding.
Douglas County: The school board approved a mill levy increase Tuesday that would increase property taxes by nearly $20 a month on average.
The measure is aimed at improving the teacher pay gap between Cherry Creek and Douglas County. Currently, the gap is nearly $20,000.
Loveland: The Thompson School District is asking residents for a $1 per day increase to fund schools.
Jefferson County and Aurora: Decisions are still pending regarding possible tax increases and mill levies.
Statewide: Coloradans will vote on Amendment 73, which would increase income taxes on those making more than $150,000 a year.
“That just goes to show how desperate the need is,” said Amie Baca-Oehlert, president of the Colorado Education Association.
Baca-Oehlert said education leaders are hoping to use recent teacher walkouts as momentum to fix years of underfunding at the state level.
“I think a lot of people just started to realize we have one of the fastest growing economies we should and we must be doing better by our students and our educators who serve our students,” Baca-Oehlert said.
But just because an issue is on the ballot doesn’t mean it will pass.
That is evident in Brighton, where voters have for many years rejected mill levies and schools are now on a four-day school week.
Opposition to Amendment 73 forms
On Wednesday, Colorado Rising Action launched an anti-Amendment 73 campaign online.
“It’s going to have an impact on our economy and people should know about it,” said Michael Fields, executive director of Colorado Rising Action.
“The money is there to put toward education they just aren’t doing it.”