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Information and Resources: Amendment 73
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AMENDMENT 73: CAMPAIGN INFORMATION & RESOURCES

 

WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS OF THIS EFFORT?

Proponents have collected and submitted to the Secretary of State signatures of 180,000 registered voters from across Colorado in order to qualify this measure for the November 2018 ballot. The Secretary of State's office announced on August 9 that Amendment 73 (this is the anticipated amendment number for initiative number 93, known as the Great Schools, Thriving Communities campaign) is approved for the November 2018 ballot. Click here to read the news release related to that announcement.

 

WHAT IS THE CITIZEN'S BALLOT INITIATIVE KNOWN AS GREAT SCHOOLS, THRIVING COMMUNITIES?

The initiative number is 93, and the campaign is called Great Schools, Thriving Communities


With the basic belief that our public schools are the pillars of thriving communities throughout Colorado, the goal was to develop a tax policy that would support this common premise. To keep schools and communities thriving, every student needs access to the effective opportunities and supports necessary for success in college, career and life, such as inspiring teachers, rigorous and broad curriculum, individual attention, quality career and technical options, and appropriate mental and physical health resources.

Great Schools, Thriving Communities (GSTC) will raise $1.6 billion in additional, sustainable revenue for our schools, bringing them closer to the national average in school funding. The initiative will distribute resources to all school districts throughout Colorado. In addition, it will ensure that decisions about how to spend those new dollars are made at the local level.

 

HOW IS REVENUE RAISED?

This initiative funds expanded educational opportunities through tax increments on federal taxable income (income after exemptions and deductions) earned above $150,000 and on C corporations, ensuring that decisions about how to use those new funds are made at the local level by locally elected school boards, in collaboration with their communities. It also provides sustainable funding by lowering and freezing property tax rates, which are already third lowest in the nation. It’s worth noting that according to the Fiscal Impact Statement created by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff, 92% of taxpayers will see no impact on their individual income taxes.

 

WHY DOES CASE SUPPORT THE INITIATIVE?

Our state lags near the bottom when it comes to personal income investment in K-12 education, and even with the success we had this past legislative session at directing funds towards schools, the budget stabilization factor still tops $700 million. CASE has been part of a group that began meeting two years ago, called Table 18, which believes it is imperative to address the significant underfunding of our education system. This ballot measure would raise badly-needed revenue for K-12 by raising taxes on high-income earners and corporations, distribute that revenue in an equitable way, and ensure that local communities could make spending and budget decisions.

 

HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT IT?

The Great Schools, Thriving Communities website provides details about the initiative, including a one-page overview, presentation and various other sources. Please scroll down for more resources.

 


 

Reminder of the Colorado Fair Campaign Practices Act

Colorado's Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA) prohibits the use of public resources to support or oppose a ballot issue. School district employees are not allowed to use any regular work hours, facilities, district communication equipment, materials or supplies to promote or defeat a ballot issue. Employees are allowed to use their personal time to urge electors to vote for or against an election issue or to make contributions of their own money. The overview of the FCPA's permissible and impermissible activities for school board members and district employees provides guidance.

If you want to get involved with the campaign, you should use a non-school district email address. If you want updates regarding the campaign, sign up directly on the Great Schools, Thriving Communities website. Given the high profile of this statewide school funding measure, school district employees may receive questions from your community. Please contact CASE at 303.762.8762 if you would like assistance in responding to these inquiries.

 


 

SUPPORTING DOCUMENTS

  • CASB - Amendment 73 Explanation:  This infographic explains the basics of A73.
  • CASB - 7 Steps to prepare for A73 community relations and engagement: CASB prepared this step-by-step checklist to help communities prepare for conversations about the initiative.
  • Colorado School Finance Project - Impact Calculator: This is a helpful tool for demonstrating the actual impact A73 will have on how much you pay in taxes.
  • Amendment 73 FCPA Memo: The Fair Campaign Practices Act (FCPA), in combination with the Colorado Constitution, make up Colorado's campaign finance laws. The FCPA restricts the school district's ability to spend public money to encourage electors to vote for or against Amendment 73. The FCPA also restricts the school district's ability to spend public money to encourage electors to vote for or against Amendment 73, and school district employees from spending public money (subject to the $50 exception discussed below) to create or distribute campaign materials designed to increase support for or against A73. The purpose of this memo is to generally outline what is permitted and not permitted under the FCPA, address frequently asked questions and provide samples for school districts. It is provided for resource purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Specific questions should be referred to the school district's own legal counsel. 
  • Final Ballot Language for #93
  • Fiscal Impact Statement for #93
  • FCPA Compliance — Basic Do's and Don't's Regarding the GSTC Ballot Initiative
  • GSTC School District Fact Sheets: To ensure that all districts and school boards have district-specific information related to the statewide funding initiative, fact sheets have been compiled to provide basic information for all school districts. Please find your school district's fact sheet on this webpage; each one contains details specific to your school district, in regards to how this proposed funding would affect your district. The calculations are based on the most recent CDE estimates for 2018-19 and show the impact of the initiative, if it is implemented for the 2019-19 school year.

 

 

 

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