Well, I’ve never posted anything political before, although I do manage to dish out a lot of kindness-leaning advice on living a better life. But tonight I’m feeling very disheartened by the failure of Amendment 66 here in Colorado. The Amendment would have increased our income taxes by a chunk, and a good chunk for some. But that increase would have gone to fund schools, and particularly schools where classrooms are increasingly overcrowded, ELL students are losing support, and No Child Left Behind is leaving far, far too many children behind. Provisions in the Amendment, which already passed the Colorado legislature and just needed to be approved by voters, required the money to be used at the school level rather than the administration level. No administration money, no pension money, just school-level money.
This was a huge issue out here, and eyes across the nation were watching to see if Coloradoans would vote to pour some money into an underfunded education system. As a mother of two young kids getting ready to enter public education, I supported it entirely because I see what the lack of focus on the actual kids and classrooms and individual schools is doing to our districts. As a community member, I supported it because improvement in our schools, which in turn improves our community and our state. As a person, I supported it because children, and education reform beyond assessment (which I won’t even get started on) have fallen so far down on our national priority level that it’s just sickening. Many people portrayed Amendment 66 as a political play by the Left to slowly start taking people’s money. But really, we are actually a country supported by taxes. It’s the way our systems work. If we won’t pay increased federal taxes, state taxes, or local taxes, and our budget keeps growing without anyone willing to do a little of their share.
I could go on all night about our broken government in general, but when people won’t even get out and vote to put some money toward improving the system that is truly the basis for the way we grow children to be adults in this country, it’s just saddening. I hope that sometime in the near future, people will make overhauling the failing education system in general, but it would be nice to at least see that people understand educating our kids is truly an investment we can’t afford to keep putting off. That may sound trite, but there is so much truth in it. And the next time I go visit a school to choose the best place for N to attend kindergarten next year, I’ll thank the Colorado voters for the cramped classrooms overflowing with unsupported students.