Standing With You at the Capitol
CEA’s Government Relations team works with educators at the capitol and during elections to advocate for the school funding and common-sense education policies our students and educators deserve.
CEA advocates on issues vital to public education.
Our commitment to quality public schools requires that we advocate for issues vital to students, educators and public education.
We work with the members of the Colorado General Assembly and other elected and appointed public officials to support a pro-public education agenda.
Legislative Session Resources
Public education policy and politics are tightly connected.
Every election is a great opportunity to elect pro-public education candidates who will collaborate with CEA and our local associations to improve learning conditions for students and working conditions of educators.
Elected officials, from school boards to the state Legislature to the White House, make decisions that affect public education. Through both policy and law, elected officials decide:
- school funding and related issues like class size;
- academic standards, curriculum and assessment;
- employee salaries, benefits and retirement;
- school services and safety measures;
- and employee evaluations and due process rights.
Elected officials make decisions that affect public education, oftentimes without the input of the experts in public education: us. That is why our union understands the link between public education policy and politics. We understand education issues, and work to protect and advance public education and educators’ issues in the political arena.
We want every student to thrive – and that is why our members work to pass local mill levies and bonds to improve the schools in their community. It’s why our local unions interview and recommend political candidates who measure up on public school issues and show commitment for our values. And it’s why we are involved in ballot initiative and referenda campaigns: supporting issues that help public education and defeating those that have the potential to harm our schools and students.
Are you registered to vote?
Visit GoVoteColorado.com to register to vote or to manage your voter registration if your personal information changes.
Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA)
We fight for retirement security for Colorado educators.
Colorado educators often spend a lifetime serving students and families. We want to ensure that the retirement benefits promised to educators are there when they need it.
The Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) is our state’s public pension system.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find out who my state legislators are?
What is the Budget Stabilization (B.S.) Factor?
Enacted by the Colorado legislature in 2009, the Budget Stabilization (B.S.) Factor is a numerical percentage used in the calculation of the school finance formula that proportionally reduces the amount of state aid provided for total funding for each school district.
In the past decade, the Budget Stabilization Factor has ballooned to nearly $10 billion dollars.
What is the Colorado Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR)?
TABOR is an amendment to the Colorado constitution that was approved by voters in 1992. It limits the revenue the State of Colorado can retain and spend. Under TABOR, state and local governments cannot raise taxes if revenues grow faster than the rate of inflation and population growth.
At its inception, the limit was the lesser of: the previous year’s revenue limit, grown by inflation and population growth OR the current fiscal year’s revenue. In other words, TABOR states that revenue can only grow from year-to-year by a set formula that takes into account population growth, which means an increased need for additional services and inflation rates, which is the growing cost of those services.
TABOR also prohibits certain types of taxes, whether voters would approve or not. For example, tiered income tax brackets like those at the federal level are prohibited, meaning you can’t tax the rich at higher rates than the middle class in Colorado.
What is Referendum C?
This amendment to TABOR was approved by voters in 2005, and allows the State of Colorado to retain and spend an amount above the TABOR base amount, which grows by inflation and population growth. Surplus money above the Referendum C cap must be refunded to Colorado taxpayers.
What is Amendment 23?
This constitutional change was passed in 2000 and requires K-12 funding to increase by inflation plus 1% from 2001-2011 and by inflation after that. Amendment 23 requires categorical programs that are a part of the school funding formula, such as special education and transportation, to increase by the same percent.
Allowing for additional K-12 spending – such as textbooks, class size reduction, early childhood education, and teacher performance incentives – is at the discretion of the legislature.