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Colorado voters could be asked to forgo a portion of expected tax refunds in order to steer more money to the state’s schools.
Advocates filed paperwork Thursday to place an initiative on the November ballot that could generate somewhere between $820 million and $1.1 billion for K-12 schools without raising taxes. It would be the fifth attempt since 2011 to secure significant new funding for Colorado schools.
Colorado voters have consistently voted against statewide education funding measures, rejecting new taxes and holding onto their ability to get tax refunds when the economy is strong. An exception was Proposition EE, a tobacco and nicotine tax for preschool approved in 2020.
Members of the coalition backing the measure hope the pandemic gives voters a new perspective.
“The needs are greater,” said Lisa Weil, executive director of Great Education Colorado. “People know that, because of COVID, because of the teacher shortage. At the same time, the economy has come roaring back. We can harness that.”