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Mo’ money for Colorado schools


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This election season found some definite winners—and I am not talking about that big red vs blue slugfest. The 2012 election saw an amazing spike in the funding of education—specifically public schools across Colorado.

Of the 38 budget increases and bond initiatives on the ballot, an impressive 34 passed. The increases included not only urban districts like Denver, where the operating budget was increased by $49 million with an additional bond of $466 million but other less populous districts, like St. Vrain Valley, where the budget increased by $14.8 million, or Pueblo 70, which is getting a $59.9 million increase. And before the muttering about “special interests” begins, it’s not just the children and their families who benefit from these budget increases, but the community at large stands to gain from their passage.

“Large employers know that talented professionals relocate to communities and neighborhoods that can provide their children with high quality academic programs,” says Dr. Don Haddad, superintendent of schools for St. Vrain in a letter to parents of the district.

What Haddad says is true. Just one look around the globe shows that it’s an undeniable reality that a better and brighter education system is necessary any community to thrive and our country is no exception. To deny this these days is about as silly as denying evolution. To grow, society needs a new crop of not just people, but well-reasoned people with drive and common sense. Of course higher education is certainly how we get the doctors, scientists and other hyper-specialized professionals who give the US a competitive edge. It’s in those younger, developmental years when individuals learn basic critical thinking and problem solving abilities. You don’t have to be college-trained to realize that generally smarter and more able-minded kids make competent adults.

This is a welcomed change of pace from previous elections where districts far and wide saw massive budget cuts. It’s naturally understandable that in a tough fiscal season a little belt tightening might be needed, but hopefully in the future our belts will no longer need to be strapped firmly around our foreheads. Who knows when the time might come when we’ll be too dull to realize when the belt needs to be taken off?

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