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.
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.
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.
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.
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.