Amendment 66 impact on rural school districts

By: Sara Zendehnam Email
By: Sara Zendehnam Email

DEBEQUE, Colo. (KKCO) The DeBeque School District 20 would see a decrease in funds per student if amendment 66 passes.

Michelle Searcy's three kids all attend schools in DeBeque. A report highlighting the impact her kids would feel if amendment 66 passes has her worried.

"If they don't get enough money it affects academics, all the things we need in a small school," says Searcy.

A breakdown of the impact on DeBeque is as follows. Right now the115 students in school are funded by $1.6 million dollars.

If Amendment 66 passes, a formula, which calculates the number of at risk youth, students who are learning English as a second language, and the size factor of the district, will leave the DeBeque School District with $43,000 less than it gets now for 122 students.

"DeBeque would lose $742 a student according to the projections and that's in large part because they don't have as many at risk low income students as other districts," Ben DeGrow, Independence Institute.

However, people for Amendment 66 have a positive view of the school reform. If the amendment passes it will give schools money for technology, class sizes will shrink, schools can fund full day kindergarten and also hire reading coaches.

"An investment in a student is the greatest investment you can ever make to really make Colorado and our future the best," Kevin LaDuke, for Amendment 66.

Amendment 66 is expected to raise $950 million in the first year by taxing Colorado residents up to 27-percent.

The proposal will replace the 4.63-percent flat income tax. If your income is up to $75,000, you will be charged a five-percent tax and if it is above that you will be taxed at 5.9-percent.

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