Late in the session the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 1382, authorizing the creation of K-12 online education pilot programs. One pilot program area — funding student choices at the course level — has received some detailed help in the form of a policy strategy manual from the Fordham Foundation, to go along with our 2012 issue paper, Online Course-Level Funding.
In Colorado, school boards have the opportunity to improve charter funding equity locally. In a positive development, the Denver Post expressed support for the Jefferson County board’s decision to set aside an extra $3.7 million to bring their charter schools somewhat closer to parity with their district-run counterparts.
The Colorado Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case of Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District — yes, the case of the groundbreaking Choice Scholarship Program. One phase of waiting is over. With briefings to be exchanged into June and oral arguments expected for the fall, we just need to stay patient.
Have you ever stuck your neck out there, the only one in the crowd choosing something different from everyone else, and then gave the wrong answer? That must be a little bit what CEA leaders feel like as they actively challenge a policy that keeps ineffective teachers out of classrooms. To put the icing on the cake, they announced their lawsuit and legislation right in the middle of National School Choice Week, a celebration of quality educational options for students.
The message of school financial transparency is great. The goal is admirable and frankly, should be a no-brainer in this complex technological age. But if Colorado leaders ignore what already has been done, we needlessly put ourselves a step behind in ensuring taxpayers are aware of and have ready access to complete and meaningful information on revenue and spending. Let’s not pretend K-12 financial transparency is a new idea, or unknown in practice, here in Colorado. Is that too much to ask?
For Colorado public educators, it’s that time of year again. Union members can keep their membership but still opt to spend their (as much as $63 in) Every Member Option automatic political deduction on their own. The clock is ticking for educators to request one or both refunds before the December 15 deadline.
Smart and successful education reform isn’t as easy as many would like it to be. Rick Hess’ thoughtful piece in National Affairs is chocked full of insights that many education policy advocates and insiders know, but few are willing to say. Taking into account these recommendations, it’s time to grow the network and expand the good results that come from not just passing good reform-minded laws, but also from doing the hard work that follows.
Colorado is approaching the heat of a statewide campaign to impose a billion-dollar-a-year statewide education tax hike. It’s time to address some of the myths and misinformation cited in support of Amendment 66. Read and listen to find seven of the major pro-tax arguments — some of them often repeated — that don’t stand up under close scrutiny.
Demand for scholarship tax credits is skyrocketing in Florida, as more than 50,000 children now are being served by the 12-year-old program. With more evidence that the expanded choice helps students and motivates families, it only gives Colorado all the more reason to consider seriously its own program to encourage more donations to K-12 scholarship organizations. Think of all the good we can do by helping Colorado Kids Win!
Proponents seeking voter signatures to raise Colorado income taxes nearly $1 billion a year to fund a new school finance formula have dredged up an old misleading statistic. Consider the completely outdated and fabricated number debunked again. Doesn’t it seem ironic that Colorado Commits tax hike supporters appeal to ignorance to collect more money for education?