Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Amendment 66 | VailDaily.com

Vail Daily letter: ‘Yes’ on Amendment 66

Colorado’s children deserve better. This fall we have an opportunity to re-prioritize what we value as a society. Well-educated students become engaged citizens, innovators and leaders. We encourage you to vote “yes” on Amendment 66.

While own children are grown, we clearly see the need for increased funding for public education in our state. We worry about our grandchildren’s generation. School budgets in Colorado districts have been cut to the bone. Schools have not just eliminated “nice to haves,” but have had to make the difficult decisions to cut essentials.

Colorado is ranked in the bottom of quartile of states for student-teacher ratios. The state’s funding for special education programs is among the lowest in the country and Colorado identifies and serves a smaller percentage of our students with disabilities than almost any other state. Due to insufficient funding, Colorado’s proven preschool program serves less than half of all eligible at-risk children who would benefit. Our state is one of only 15 states that spend no money at the state level on professional development for teachers. Over 83 districts have gone to a four-day school week to cut costs — the highest proportion in the nation. The state’s student-to-counselor ratio is 392 to 1. And the list goes on and on.

For Colorado to continue to be a great place to live, we need to remedy this situation. Our natural resources are the envy of the nation, but our most important natural resources are our children. We will all benefit from a well-educated population. Thankfully we have this opportunity to make a change by passing Amendment 66. Ten years from now, I want to live in a Colorado that invested in our kids.

Elaine Kelton

Vail