2021 Ballot Measures
Just Vote NO.
These issues are written by lobbyists to defund our schools.
Read the Blue Book pros and cons.
The Colorado State Central Committee voted overwhelmingly to oppose all measures.
Amendment 78 - "Legislative Authority for Spending State Money.
Would amend the constitution to make all funding received from non-state sources (ie, the Federal Government, private donations to universities, etc) disbursable only by the LEGISLATURE, effectively tying up those funds for months or years. Colorado received nearly $1.7 billion last year from federal relief money, and the Polis Administration was able to quickly and effectively deploy it. This Amendment would hobble such efforts.
In additional to federal money disbursements (for transportation, emergency relief such as flooding or wildfires, health and human services) this would affect legal settlements (think opioid settlements), grants and donations to academic institutions.
It is estimated this amendment would cost an additional $1 million plus in predicted staff requirements for the Legislature to even begin to account for these funds.
Proposition 119 - "Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program"
This proposition, which appears to simply increase the tax on legal marijuana products, would also redirect millions of dollars from the State Land Trust from public funds to private, out-of-school providers, potentially giving them to out-of-state or even foreign companies with no accountability. An unelected and unaccountable board, operating without oversight, would have access to our public funds.
Our schools are some of the most poorly funded in the nation. These private programs / providers would syphon off almost $56 million in the first year, growing to $138 million by 2024/25.
As concerning, private providers could then do whatever they choose: teach inaccurate history lessons, allow religious indoctrination, pursue anti-science agendas.
For more info, and some excellent graphics, see NoOnProp119.com.
For an excellent editorial on this issue by Carol Cure, please see the bottom of the page.
Proposition 120 - "Property Tax Assessment Rate Reduction"
It would NOT actually reduce residential property taxes by even a penny. It would only lower rates for multi-family properties and hotel properties, due to a law passed in June by our legislature. As the DH said in its editorial last Wednesday: Does Hilton or your landlord really need a tax break?
This would reduce property tax assessments from 7.15% to 6.5%, and for some commercial properties from 29% to 26.4%. Lower taxes are always appreciated, but this would put us below ALABAMA. We are #45 in school expenditures per student.
Editorial by Carol Cure on PROPOSITION 119 - “Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program (LEAP)” – Supporters of Prop 119 are misleading voters. Their misguided proposal would cut millions of dollars that support classroom supplies, educational programming, and teacher salaries from public education, to pay for privatized education services, including religious based institutions.
Work should be undertaken to properly fund public education, not take money out of classrooms where teachers often use their personal funds to purchase textbooks and school supplies. The measure was crafted by dark money conservative groups to sound great, but in reality, Prop 119 is a tax hike on Colorado businesses and creates an unelected, unaccountable board with sole discretion for spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year with no public accountability or oversight.
These private programs would syphon off almost $56 million from our schools in the first year, growing to $138 million by the 2024-25 school year. The annual budget of this new bureaucracy would equal nearly twice the annual budget of the entire Colorado Department of Education. Public education dollars must stay in public schools so we can recruit and retain the best teachers in Colorado — not create more bureaucracy.
This measure is NOT in the best interests of our kids or Colorado taxpayers. It would allow the newly-created board to give themselves exorbitant salaries from public funds without any oversight whatsoever and without any limit on the amount that could be allocated to administrative expenses. In addition, there is no guarantee it would help our most vulnerable student populations. The private providers selected by the board could simply refuse to serve students with disabilities or other groups of disadvantaged children.
In addition to taking marijuana taxes, this measure would redirect millions of dollars from the State Land Trust, which was designed specifically to fund public education, particularly for rural Colorado children, and deliver it into private hands, giving the funds to out-of-state or even foreign companies. Prop 119 has no local control or accountability and would devastate the state education budget.
This siphoning of money likely violates the Enabling Act of the Colorado Constitution, which has protected State Land Trust money for our public schools for more than 150 years. The measure would be devastating to our local school districts, which are already among the most poorly-funded classrooms in the nation, ranking 47th in the country in per-pupil spending. Rural Colorado would suffer disproportionately from the diverted money and current teacher shortages would become even worse.
Prop 119 is a scam that reduces our students’ chances of success by taking money from our public school teachers and classrooms and giving it to private providers to do whatever they choose: teach inaccurate history lessons, allow religious groups to indoctrinate our kids with extreme ideas, or whatever. For more info, see https://noonprop119.com.
Learning Opportunities for Colorado's Kids is leading the “Yes on Prop 119” campaign. The committee reported $1.85 million in contributions and $1.67 million in expenditures. Gary Community Investment Company gave $1.45 million and, together with Ready Colorado, were the source of 94% of the contributions. Who are these groups and why are they spending all this money to pass Prop 119?
Prop 119 is opposed by Taxpayers for Public Education, a Colorado-based, bi-partisan, 501(c)(4) organization whose members are Colorado taxpayers and parents of children enrolled in public schools. In opposing the initiative, they said “[Prop 119] is a school voucher scheme that would undermine Colorado’s public schools and potentially divert money into private institutions that could discriminate against students based on their religion, race, sexual orientation, gender identity, immigration status, or heritage." The measure is also opposed by Coloradans Against School Vouchers and the Colorado AFL-CIO.
Don’t be fooled. Send a message this November that public education is not for sale and we will not be deceived. Vote NO on Proposition 119.