Try, try again: Latest attempt at school funding measure would raise $1.6 billion with income, corporate tax increases

Backers of a major school funding measure have been cleared to gather signatures by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office.

By Erica MeltzerChalkbeat 

Colorado voters could see a $1.6 billion tax increase for education on their November ballots.

Backers of a major school funding measure have been cleared to gather signatures by the Colorado Secretary of State’s Office. The measure – going by Great Schools, Thriving Communities – would increase the corporate tax rate and increase income taxes for people who earn more than $150,000 a year, as well as change how residential property is taxed for schools.

“Colorado schools are severely underfunded right now, and this initiative is a way we can ensure that every student has access to the supports they need for success,” said Susan Meeks, a spokeswoman for Great Education Colorado, one of the groups supporting the measure.


These Denver schools want to join the district’s ‘innovation zone’ or form new zones

Innovation zones are often described as a “third way” to govern public schools.

McAuliffe International School, North Park Hill, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; school; education; north park hill; students;
McAuliffe International School, North Park Hill, Feb. 15, 2018. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Melanie Asmar, Chalkbeat

Thirteen Denver schools have signaled their desire to become more autonomous by joining the district’s first “innovation zone” or by banding together to form their own zones. The schools span all grade levels, and most of the 13 are high-performing.


After criticism, Denver will change the way it rates elementary schools

The changes will lessen the impact of early literacy scores on a school’s overall rating, while also raising the bar on how many students must ace the tests for a school to be considered good.

First graders read in a bilingual classroom at Goldrick Elementary School, Dec. 7, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) denver; colorado; denverite; kevinjbeaty; elementary school; education; goldrick elementary; learning; classroom;
First graders read in a bilingual classroom at Goldrick Elementary School, Dec. 7, 2017. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Melanie AsmarChalkbeat

Facing criticism that its school ratings overstated young students’ reading abilities, the Denver school district announced it will change the way elementary schools are rated next year.

The district will increase the number of students in kindergarten, first, second and third grade who must score at grade-level on early literacy tests for a school to earn points on the district’s rating scale, and decrease how many points those scores will be worth, officials said.


Denver school board pledges to ‘stand shoulder-to-shoulder’ with undocumented immigrants

“You have accomplices and luchadores in us,” said board member Angela Cobián.

Max Hernandez holds a little Puerto Rican flag at a rally held by high school students in Ruby Hill after a multi-school walk-out. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite) protest; rally; march; students; ruby hill; trump; politics; election; kevinjbeaty; copolitics; denver; denverite; colorado; latino; hispanic;
Max Hernandez holds a little Cuban flag at a rally held by high school students in Ruby Hill after a multi-school walk-out. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

By Melanie AsmarChalkbeat

The Denver school board took a stand Thursday in support of young undocumented immigrants, urging Congress to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and pledging to provide opportunities for Denver educators to teach students about immigrant rights.

“You have accomplices and luchadores in us,” said board member Angela Cobián.


Report: Districts can do more to give black and Hispanic students access to college courses

Young Aspiring Americans for Social and Political Activism gathered data about how many students of each race take concurrent enrollment classes in Aurora and Denver and is releasing a set of recommendations.

Aurora Central High students discuss the school's future in a leadership class. The high school is one of the state's lowest-performing schools. (Nicholas Garcia)
Aurora Central High students discuss the school’s future in a leadership class. The high school is one of the state’s lowest-performing schools. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)

By Yesenia RoblesChalkbeat

School districts could do more to ensure students, particularly students of color, have an opportunity to take college classes while still in high school.

That’s the conclusion of a new report from a student advocacy group that looked at disparities in access to what is known as “concurrent enrollment” in Colorado schools.