Political bias at Back to School night | AspenTimes.com

Political bias at Back to School night

Dear Editor:

I was surprised tonight to attend my child’s “Back to School” night and be, without warning, subjected to what I thought was a fairly biased view of Propositions 60, 61 and 101. The view presented by the school and a concerned parent was truly alarming – talk of up to 300 teaching positions lost and 25 children crammed into each classroom.

So I did some research and found the truth: No school district will “lose” one dollar. School revenue will continue to rise at the same rate – no cuts.

Details: School property tax was $1.4 billion in 1993, after TABOR passed. Today, it is $3.4 billion, 143 percent more. It has risen every year since 1993. See the official tax history chart at limitpropertytax.com. What government calls a “cut” is an increase less than hoped for. Amendment 60 slowly phases in tax relief over 10 years, matched with 100 percent replacement by state aid.

Schools will have zero funding change. The claim that “each year” they “lose” more than $1 billion is absurd. If pressed, even our foes will admit it is not each year – not 2011, 2012, etc. Granting $130 million of state school aid each year for 10 years sounds like a lot, but total state spending will exceed $20 billion next year, so it’s about 0.6 percent of today’s state spending, which will grow every year. In 2020, with state revenue growing faster than local tax relief, it will be under 5 percent of total annual state spending. No money is ever “lost;” it just stays in your pocket.

Constitutional Amendment 23, passed in 2000, guaranteed school spending will increase yearly by more than inflation. The School Finance Act, over 20 years old, guarantees 100 percent state aid to replace any reduction in local school district tax revenue. There is no reduction – not one dollar. Amendment 60 specifically says of the 10-year phase out of less than half of school property taxes, “state aid shall replace that revenue yearly.” How can they claim the tax relief will happen, but the state aid in the same sentence not happen? No one will be fired because no district will lose any revenue. Can you think of any lower scare tactic than frightening little children into influencing their parents’ vote in November?

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This may be found at: http://cotaxreforms.com/fib.php.

As far as the vehicle registration fee hike (that proposition 101 will fix), it surely did not escape my notice that my registration fees increased sharply this year (my old handmade trailer almost tripled) – details of this and the (non)effect on schools are at http://cotaxreform.com/.

Why are our teachers and school districts not doing this research? Why not present both views at a “Back to School” night if anything at all is to be said in this questionable forum?

If I hope for anything from our school system it is that my child will be able to form her own opinions based on the ability to conduct unbiased research. I feel disappointed tonight.

Bronwyn Anglin

Pitkin County