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House GOP Newsletter  
Wednesday, October 28, 2015 Like 

♦The importance of equity in public school funding

♦House GOP Job Openings   ♦In the News 

♦Tweets of the Week   ♦Capitol Pictures

The importance of equity in public school funding

By Representative Lang Sias (R-Arvada)

How would you like to be told by government officials that your child isn't as important as your neighbor's child? That's the message that some Colorado parents are receiving from school districts that discriminate in how they allocate funds among students at different types of public schools.

Most Colorado citizens probably assume that students in the same grade, attending public schools in the same district, receive equal levels of funding. Yet, surprisingly, this is not happening in many schools across Colorado. The disparity stems from how local mill levy overrides, or money generated from property taxes, are allocated between children attending traditional district schools and children attending charter public schools. Districts currently have discretion over apportionment of mill levy revenues. Too often, they are forcing charter public school students--all of them public schoolchildren--to make do with less than their peers in traditional district schools. Considering that mill levy revenue generates approximately $826 million state wide, a lot is at stake for Colorado students and families.

Some districts should be commended for treating students fairly on this issue, including Denver Public Schools and Jefferson County Public Schools, which recently earned praise from the Denver Post for reversing a long-standing policy of inequity. But other districts around the state do not all share this standard of fairness. Accordingly, I will be discussing with colleagues on both sides of the aisle potential legislation in the upcoming session to ensure that charter students in every Colorado district receive an equal and fair share of mill levy revenue.

Amazingly, there will be objections to this policy of fairness. Critics will trot out a series of false and misleading arguments such as the outright lie that charters are private, when in fact they are public; the false assertion that charters "cherry-pick" students, when in fact charter students are selected by random lottery and include free and reduced lunch, special needs and minority students; and the similarly false claim that equal funding of charter students steals money from traditional district schools, when in fact both service public school kids.

Colorado has long embraced choice in public education, so that we parents can customize an education to meet the individual needs of our children. Charter schools are an important part of our menu of public school options. Currently, there are over 220 charter schools educating approximately 103,000 students in Colorado. If charter schools were combined into one district, it would be the largest district in the state. But as long as some districts treat charter public school children as second class citizens, the hope and opportunity that charters represent will remain a somewhat false choice. It is time to ensure that districts place equal value on all our public school children.

If you have thoughts about this issue please contact me and thank you for taking the time to read at our newsletter. You can keep up with all of our caucus updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting www.coloradohousegop.com.

Sincerely, 

Lang Sias

House GOP Job Openings

In the News

 Tweets of the Week 

Here at the Latino Panel to discuss Hispanic engagement in our Community. pic.twitter.com/s6xhxo2TTd

Attending the Voices meeting in Denver. Lots of questions from crime victims for the DOC and Parole Board representatives

A beautiful night supporting America's Heroes. #thehomefrontcares God Bless our Troops! @AmyforColoradopic.twitter.com/YFuXfnuMh1

Capitol Pictures

Representatives Perry Buck, Lois Landgraf, Polly Lawrence, Kit Roupe and Brian DelGrosso along with Senators Bill Cadman, Laura Woods and Kevin Grantham touring the Anheuser Busch distribution plant in Denver, CO. 

Representative J. Paul Brown (R-Ignacio) and Senator Randy Baumgardner visiting Adams State University in Alamosa during a tour with the Capitol Development Committee.  

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Representative Tim Dore (R-Elizabeth) speaking to an Eads High School civics and government class. 

You can keep up with all of our updates by following us on Twitter, liking us on Facebook or visiting COHouseGOP.com.

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