Posted: Oct 2, 2011 6:36 PM by Trovette Tottress
Proposition 103 would raise state sales and income taxes for five years. It's expected to generate an estimated $3 billion dollars for public education. Supporters say the state needs the money to prevent even deeper cuts in school funding.
"We're in a situation right now where education is at a critical point", said District 11 teacher Kevin Vick. "We're at the point right now to where we're going to have drastic reductions in basic, basic educational needs for students if [Proposition 103] doesn't pass."
District 11 has closed nine schools and has been forced to cut many of its services. Other districts are now charging for basic services like buses.
"We've cut teachers, we've cut support staff, we've cut days in our calendar", said Kevin Vick. "We have basically thrown everything we can at our budget situation. Are we going to have to cut our arm off to let people know we're having a heart attack?"
But opponents of the measure say the educational system has a structural problem not a revenue problem.
"Today the state provides over $7 thousand dollars per student to educate a student", said Jeff Crank, Director of American for Prosperity. "If you take an average class size of 30 kids or so that's $180 to $200 thousand dollars per classroom that's going into education. If we can't educate kids for $180 thousand dollars a classroom, maybe it's the structure that needs to be changed and not so much that we need to pour more money in the system."
But those who support the measure say if the proposition doesn't pass they will have to make some tough choices.
"You can only get to so many kids in a day and we're already beyond that capacity.
Colorado citizens will have the opportunity to vote on Proposition 103 in November.
For more information on Proposition 103 click here.