What is the biggest challenge facing the SVVSD today? Our state’s budget crisis. Last year every school in our district had to cut their budget by 25%. Over the past 3 years our state legislature has cut $700M from public education. $250M in additional cuts are projected for next year – all while our state population is growing and the Colorado Board of Education is requiring new accountability standards called The Colorado Growth Model.
As of August 24, Initiative 25 officially became Proposition 103 – the only statewide proposition on the Colorado ballot in 2011. 86,000 voter signatures were required to put a citizens’ initiative on the ballot. The initiative cleared that threshold with 142,000 signatures. Grassroots efforts put Prop 103 on the ballot and grassroots efforts can do it again.
Proposition 103, if passed, will re-set Colorado state income tax and sales tax rates back to 1999 levels for 5 years. It is projected to generate $536.1 million annually for K-12 and higher education. Why is it important that this measure pass? Passing Proposition 103 would be enough to stop the cuts and stabilize education funding while performance improvement is ongoing. Without passage of Prop 103, St. Vrain is looking at an additional $16M in cuts for next year. It will be impossible not to bring the budget cuts to the classroom and affect student programming.
What can you do? Start talking and learning – educate yourself about Proposition 103. Here is a link to the Rocky Mountain PBS program ‘Colorado State of Mind‘ that aired a pro/con discussion about Prop 103 on September 8th. Please look for upcoming GSV emails to find out how you can help spread the word about Proposition 103. As a grassroots initiative, it is unlikely that Prop 103 will have a strong media-based campaign – It’s Up to Us. Remember, you can’t spell “Us” without you.