Election Night Blues in the key of C

Dear Colorado,

I get it. Amendment 66 was perhaps an extreme approach to education funding. I don’t agree with your choice, but I do understand why you didn’t pass it.

But can we agree that we need to do something about school funding? Since I began teaching, we have always been told to do more with less. Every year there are a few more State-imposed mandates with no additional funding to make them happen.

Maybe I’m alone in this, but I want my kids to learn from great teachers. Great teachers don’t get into education for the money. We do it because we love helping students learn. But it sometimes gets tough to love the job when teaching your kids doesn’t pay enough for me to adequately support my kids. When I leave teaching, it won’t be because I hated the job or performed poorly. It will be because I can’t afford to teach.

Colorado, your kids suffer because you can’t decide what you want. On the one hand, you want high-performing schools and teachers. You said so by passing Senate Bill 191, which raises the bar for how teachers are assessed. On the other hand, you fall behind most other states in funding education.

This isn’t a sob story about this one ballot initiative. This is a call to all of the reasonable people out there in Colorado: FIGURE IT OUT. If you want awesome schools, figure out how to pay for them. Colorado, tonight your answer was no. Figure out a solution you can accept, and say yes.

Hopefully you can figure it out before too many of our best and brightest teachers have moved on to other states or different professions.

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