FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 11, 2024
Contact: Bethany Morris,
Colorado Education Association Responds to Governor’s State of State Address
Denver, CO — Amie Baca-Oehlert, President of the Colorado Education Association, today released the following statement in response to the Governor’s State of State Address:
“We extend our gratitude to Governor Polis and state lawmakers for their commendable efforts in prioritizing public education in Colorado and taking the crucial first step to buy down the Budget Stabilization Factor to zero this legislative session. However, it is imperative to acknowledge that this action, though significant, marks just the beginning of a more comprehensive journey toward adequately funding our education system.
“It’s crucial to recognize that by fully addressing the B.S. Factor in this session, we are essentially bringing education funding levels back to those observed in 1989. While this step is undeniably noteworthy, it also underscores the long-standing inadequacies in the financial support our students and educators have received for decades. The educational landscape has evolved, and the demands on our schools have increased significantly since that time.
“It’s essential to view the commitment to fully fund public education as an ongoing and evolving process. True dedication to this cause necessitates a sustained effort to surpass the limitations of historical funding levels and bring education financing into alignment with the contemporary needs of our educational institutions.
“Furthermore, we must address the paradoxical challenge of expressing commitment to fully funding public education while simultaneously considering reductions in property and income taxes—both crucial revenue streams for supporting education in Colorado. It is essential to ensure that any fiscal decisions made do not undermine the very foundation of our education system.
“As advocates for education, we encourage a holistic approach that not only rectifies historical funding shortfalls but also establishes a forward-looking framework capable of meeting the evolving needs of our students and educators.
“Additionally, we echo the Governor’s call for more affordable housing in Colorado. This year’s State of Education report found that 50% of educators struggled to afford housing costs in the last year. Access to affordable housing is not only a fundamental human right but also a key determinant of our educators’ overall well-being and job satisfaction. As they play a pivotal role in shaping the future of our society, it is imperative that we prioritize their welfare by ensuring they have access to housing that is not only within their means but also provides a sense of stability.
“We look forward to working in tandem with the Governor and legislature to shepherd in a new era of fully funded public education in Colorado. Together, we can build a foundation that ensures every student receives the education they deserve, setting the stage for a brighter future for Colorado.”
About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is a membership-based organization that represents nearly 40,000 Colorado education professionals. The CEA promise to our students and communities is that the members of the Association will lead the way in guaranteeing every student access to the best public education. By working collectively with all education stakeholders, we will provide the best public education for every student and assure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.