At least one popular television series has taken on the challenge of refuting widely held beliefs rooted in misinformation. While I certainly can’t promise you the same level of entertainment value, in the spirit of MythBusters I urge Coloradans to check out a brand-new podcast of my Education Policy Center friend Ben DeGrow on the Amy Oliver Show.
Listen to Ben debunk some of the myths behind Amendment 66, the billion-dollar-a-year statewide tax increase “for the kids.” You will learn how, contrary to claims made by prominent supporters:
- Counting real dollars, Coloradans carry a medium tax burden, not a low tax burden
- Colorado does not rank anywhere near 49th in education funding, but spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per K-12 student
- Both long-term funding increases and recent funding cutbacks in Colorado have been accompanied by mostly flat achievement results
- Various metro Denver counties will be big “losers” in one key sense, with residents paying far more in new taxes than their local schools will see in new revenues
- Nonpartisan legislative analysts have identified 13 (mostly rural) school districts and 4 (out of 45 so far) charter schools that will end up with less money after the tax increase
- While SB 213 may improve financial transparency at a cost far less than a billion dollars, you still won’t be able to see “where every single taxpayer dollar goes”
- Provisions to expand preschool, combined with existing mandates and hiring trends, cast doubt on how much money will end up in K-12 classrooms
Please also visit the new information page on Amendment 66 and Senate Bill 213, where besides a bunch of helpful resources, I’m told you soon will find a new Independence Institute issue brief tackling the subject head on. There’s too much at stake not to make sure you, along with your friends and neighbors, are well informed.