Although the results are not yet official, it looks like education reform is here to stay in Douglas County. After a highly contested race that captured the nation’s attention, the four pro-reform candidates were victorious. This isn’t just a victory for those four candidates, it is a victory for parents and students who will undoubtedly benefit from the positive changes the Board of Education has and will continue to put forth.
Last week the Secretary of State completed its line-by-line review of the petition signatures for Initiative 22, the billion dollar tax increase to fund SB 213. Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced that, "the proposed ballot measure concerning 'funding for public schools' was found to be sufficient as required by statute." But just barely.
The group Colorado for Kids turned in 165,706 signatures, but after the line-by-line review 79,850 of those signatures were rejected. That is nearly half of the total submitted! Obviously these people did an unbelievably sloppy job collecting signatures if nearly half of them have been thrown out. And that leaves the total of accepted signatures, 89,820, at just 3,715 above the required minimum to be placed on the ballot - an incredibly slim margin.
Initiative 22 now becomes Amendment 66 - a change to Colorado's state constitution. This isn't any ordinary tax increase; it's a billion dollars every year and it will be in the state's constitution. The slim margin that allows the measure to be placed on the ballot and the sloppy signature collecting should be questioned before Colorado's citizens are forced to pay.
I graduated from the University of Denver with a B.A. in History (minor in Political Science) and the University of Wyoming with a Master of Public Administration. I am an experienced copywriter and content manager. I am also a former intern/research associate for the Education Policy Center at the Independence Institute in Denver, Colorado and have previously blogged for National School Choice Week.