Amendment 66, or the Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative, is the ballot issue supporting Senate Bill 13-213, the school finance reform act. The ballot issue asks voters to approve an income tax increase that will raise an estimated $950 million annually for P-12 education. The measure would increase the rates on federal taxable income under$75,000 from 4.63 percent to 5 percent. Individuals with taxable income of more than $75,000 per year would pay a rate of 5 percent on the first $75,000 and a rate of 5.9 percent on taxable income above that amount.
The new school finance act will change the way money is distributed to public and charter schools throughout the state. It will include funding for early childhood education, full-day kindergarten and preschool; programs for gifted and talented students; educator training and increased funding for English-language learner and at-risk students.
The Colorado Department of Educator estimates that under the new school finance act, Greeley-Evans School District 6 would receive an additional $27.8 million in funding annually.
The issue will be on the Nov. 5, 2013 state-wide ballot.
to download the Board of Education's Resolution in support of Amendment 66
to download the Amendment 66 Education Funding Factual Summary
Frequently Asked Questions on Amendment 66
Q. How much money will Greeley-Evans School District 6 receive if this ballot issue is approved by voters?
A. According to the Colorado Department of Education, District 6 will receive an estimated $27.8 million in additional revenues annually.
Q. How would the new revenues from Amendment 66 be spent in District 6?
A. While the specific earmarks in the bill haven’t been clarified yet, here is an estimate of how District 6 would distribute the additional funding:
• New curriculum materials, textbooks and classroom technology: $5.5 million.
• Gifted and Talented Programs and advanced learning opportunities for students, including Career Pathways, Advanced Placement classes, magnet programs and International Baccalaureate programs: $3 million.
• All-day kindergarten: $3.5 million.
• Reduced class size: $2.5 million.
• Expanded preschool opportunities for three- and four-year-olds: $3 million.
• Expanded programs for at-risk and English-language learners: $3 million.
• Educator training: $1 million
• Deferred facility maintenance and infrastructure: $2.8 million.
Q: What purposes can the new revenue that would go into the Teacher/Leadership Investment Fund be used for? (In earlier versions of the legislation, this was called the Achievement Fund.)
A. This fund will be given to districts as an amount per pupil beginning in the first year of funding for the new finance formula. At this time, the Colorado Department of Education estimates the amount will be about $441 per student. This revenue will be used to cover the cost of training and professional development for standards-based instruction and assessment, educator performance evaluations and efforts aimed at eliminating achievement gaps among students of various groups.
Q. What would be the impact of Amendment 66 on charter schools in District 6?
A. Charter schools are eligible to receive the same per pupil funding as any other school in District 6. We know our charter schools have students who are gifted and talented, have special needs, are English-language learners and are classified as at-risk. All charters will receive the same per pupil increase in funding as any other school in the district. In addition, charter schools will receive capital construction assistance of up to $450 per student. District 6 charter schools could receive well over $1 million in additional revenue to assist with capital construction expenses.
Q. What kind of facility needs will there be if District 6 has full-day kindergarten at every school?
A. District 6 currently offers full-day kindergarten at 12 different schools. District 6 has a record of being able to figure out facility needs for this purpose. We are confident we can manage this need again should Amendment 66 be approved by voters. Full-day kindergarten will be an amazing offering for our students, and we believe it will significantly impact student achievement. We estimate that we would need 20-30 additional classrooms to accommodate all-day kindergarten at all schools. We can redistribute capacity with minor boundary changes to use existing space, we can add modular classrooms and we can construct permanent additions where that makes sense. The state has anticipated this need and will place up to 40 percent of revenue collections until July 1, 2015 in a BEST grant fund, which will be used to help cover facility costs for district’s implementing full-day kindergarten. For preschool, we are already partnering with the private sector to provide much of the facility capacity for these children, and we believe they have the ability to absorb most of the new preschoolers.