Fund our schools

The legislative session in Colorado has started off in its usual fashion. Hopes and promises of greatly increased funding and collective bargaining rights have been dashed once again by the governor and the state Legislature. In a time of educator shortages, our Legislature is actively avoiding every opportunity it has to give educators voice and to fully fund our schools.

We’ve heard legislators’ excuses every year, and every year Colorado students and educators suffer because of the Legislature’s inability to fund our schools as required by our state constitution. This year’s senior class has never seen a fully funded school system, and unfortunately for Colorado’s children, excuses don’t fill classrooms with educators or buy resources for our students.

We’ve tried testing, we’ve tried accountability, we’ve tried blaming the teachers, but the one thing the Legislature has failed to try is fully funding our schools. The legislature got creative in its creation of the budget stabilization (B.S.) factor; now it’s time for our Legislature to step up and get creative with the influx of money from the federal government and the increases in property tax. It’s time for the state to pay back its IOU of $10 billion that it owes Colorado’s students. It’s time for no more B.S. (factor).

Teachers are tired of fighting; they need someone to fight for them. Will the governor or the Legislature step up? We doubt it, but we would love to be wrong. If the Legislature can’t get creative, we look forward to using our voices at the ballot box in November.

Stephanie Nixon and Marnie White, Aspen Education Association; Liz Waddick, Summit County Education Association; Keely Kuehl, Cody Jump and Roxie Aldaz, Lake County Education Association; Kim Serio, Moffat County Education Association; Jessica Reagon, Steamboat Springs Education Association; Karen Kolibaba, Eagle County Education Association