Unfortunately, bipartisanship in our nation’s politics is not something that is even worth hoping for right now. Yet Colorado voters have the opportunity to do something uniquely bipartisan for our state’s kids in the upcoming election.
What if you knew something was:
■ Endorsed by the major newspapers in Grand Junction, Denver, Greeley and Boulder, among others
■ Endorsed by more than 100 business leaders from across the state
■ Endorsed by elected officials from both parties throughout Colorado
■ Estimated to bring $3.3 billion to $4 billion in economic gain per year to Colorado, according to the University of Colorado and Denver University business schools.
That bipartisan and economic driver is Amendment 66, and it is on your ballot right now. Look to the future, stand up for our entire state and please vote “yes.”
Yes, passing this amendment will raise the income tax rate on working adults in Colorado. As someone without kids, I could do without the tax increase right now because I would not see the benefits of this right away. But I am willing to look beyond the average tax of $11 per month this will cost because what is gained is worth so much more than that.
This amendment not only is good for Colorado schools, but it is specifically good for Steamboat Springs and Routt County. Every single school district in the state will see an increase in funding. This means that our schools in Hayden, South Routt and Steamboat can add technology, better fund early-childhood education, reduce class sizes and more.
We also must look beyond the incredible town in which we live because Colorado’s education system is hurting. Our state currently ranks 41st out of 50 in the amount of money it spends per student. This amendment would change the Colorado Constitution so that education funding is locked in and cannot be reduced during difficult economic times. It allocates funding based on need, helping underserved districts that need the assistance the most. This amendment would make Colorado what it deserves to be: a state that makes quality public education a priority whether the kid lives in Steamboat, Aurora, Cherry Hills Village or Montrose.
Sure, it would be easy for those of us without kids in the K-12 public education system to think this is not important because the small tax increase will not benefit us. I could be one of those people. But I am not because when I voted “yes” for Amendment 66, I thought of my young cousins at Strawberry Park Elementary School and their parents, the first-graders in my sister’s classroom in Denver and all the future kids who will enter our public schools someday, including my own.
We can be proud of our town and its excellent schools and insulate ourselves from the rest of the state and think that other school districts simply are not of our concern. I think we are better than that, though, and I hope you do, too. Be proud of Routt County while showing your state pride: Vote for Colorado’s future. Vote “yes” on Amendment 66.
This is an all mail-in ballot election. If you have not done so already, fill in your ballot and put it in the mail with a stamp (or drop it off if you read this after Saturday). If you have not received a ballot or need to register to vote, it’s not too late: Visit the Routt County Clerk and Recorder online or at the Routt County Courthouse.