Colorado Schools Funding Measure Won’t Go to November Ballot After Supporters Fail to Gather Enough Signatures

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This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More than www.chalkbeat.org.

Colorado voters won’t be able to decide in November whether to forego a portion of future state tax refunds to better fund K-12 schools.

Supporters of a ballot measure that would have dedicated about $984 million in future tax revenue to help school districts recruit and retain educators announced on Monday that they had failed to reach the nearly 125,000 signatures needed to get the measure passed this fall.

Tracie Rainey of the Colorado School Finance Project said the failure was particularly frustrating because the measure sounded well and appeared to have a better chance of succeeding than previous attempts to increase school funding.

“It’s unfortunate that voters don’t have the opportunity to vote on something they value,” she said.

Colorado funds its schools at lower rates than many other states and for more than a decade has failed to comply with a constitutional requirement to increase funding for schools each year by the rate of population growth plus inflation. Meanwhile, in times of economic prosperity, the state must return money to taxpayers if state revenues exceed a ceiling determined similarly by population and inflation.

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