Educational lottery would help fund schools | AspenTimes.com

Educational lottery would help fund schools

After reading and observing the recent teacher walk-ins and articles about the low salaries for Colorado teachers, especially in the Roaring Fork Valley school districts, I feel compelled to re-introduce my educational lottery concept. Year after year, we see how under-funded our public schools are in Colorado. Colorado continues to rank very low in teacher pay and educational funding nationally. Teacher resignations are increasing in Colorado due to the high cost of living. The Colorado Legislature is roadblocked by a quagmire of complicated laws that prevent it from proposing tax increases for education. Colorado is between a rock and a hard place on this issue.

The great thing about an educational lottery is that it is not a tax. I have introduced this concept to the Colorado Legislature three times during this decade and was put off by legislators who were afraid to step up and help their schools. In 2014, I drafted a bill that was distributed to several members of the legislature, but it was never officially introduced or sponsored. The bill draft was tabled in one of the education committees indefinitely.

We need to find creative ways to fund our schools and keep our good teachers here. Property owners should not be subjected to any further property taxes. The educational lottery will save them from possible future taxation. An educational lottery fund could grow into a sizable amount to bolster teacher salaries and other educational needs. It is a safe bet!

Investing in our children’s education and safety should be Colorado’s number one priority. An educational lottery can go a long way in accomplishing this task. As a former educator, I am willing to submit another bill to the legislature on behalf of all of our great teachers even though it is late in the session. They could attach it to Senate Bill 200. An educational lottery is a great cause. Tell your legislators to support this idea.

Randy Fricke

New Castle


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