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Time to Bust Amendment 66 Myths

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:

  1. Counting real dollars, Coloradans carry a medium tax burden, not a low tax burden
  2. Colorado does not rank anywhere near 49th in education funding, but spends between $9,000 and $10,000 per K-12 student
  3. Both long-term funding increases and recent funding cutbacks in Colorado have been accompanied by mostly flat achievement results
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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”
  7. 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.