Education

One of the areas where I have dedicated a significant amount of time this last year has been on the issue of education funding.  No one with whom I have spoken disagrees, we need to find better and more equitable ways to fund the education of our residents.  In Thompson School District there seems to be consensus on the need to pay our teachers more, even if there is disagreement on issues around schools, curriculum, etc.  How to go about this, especially in an environment with a skeptical electorate is difficult.  I can remember asking a staff member if they could describe, in layman’s terms, the formula for allocated Per Pupil Individualized Revenue and received only an embarrassed laugh.  
 

Looking Ahead

The Legislative Council Staff at the Capitol has not let the complexity of this issue intimidate them, however.  They have been working on various ideas, including something called Mill Levy Equalization to try and develop a more equitable way of funding education so that we don’t have the disparity between low mil levy areas that generate a tremendous amount of revenue (i.e Cherry Creek or Aspen) or very high mil levy areas that generate very little revenue (i.e. Brush or Hotchkiss).  The highly varied nature of our state both economically and geographically demands that we look at new and innovative ways to tackle the issue of education funding so that we fulfill one of our primary responsibilities, that of adequately educating our children.