EducationElection 2018Hot Sheet

Aaron Harber hears costs, benefits of Amendment 73 for schools

Author: Joey Bunch - September 14, 2018 - Updated: September 13, 2018


“The Aaron Harber Show” takes Colorado to the classroom this Sunday, exploring the needs and costs behind a ballot question on funding this November.

Both sides will make their pitches on Amendment 73, which would raise income taxes on higher income Coloradans while also raising the corporate rate. That would put $1.6 billion a year into K-12 classrooms.

Education expert Martha Olson, one of the amendment’s sponsors, and former Poudre School District Board President Cathy Kipp take on two opponents, Colorado Rising Action executive director Michael Fields and former Colorado state Senate Majority Leader Norma Anderson.

RELATED: Aaron Harber’s election podcast series

Both parts of the two-part segment air on KCDO TV Channel 3 across the state from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 8 to 9 p.m.

“They define the principle changes the measure would impose on our state tax structure for individuals and corporations,” Harber said of the segments. “Citing the need to fix the Gallagher Amendment, repeal or modify TABOR, Amendment 73 is offered as a workaround solution to get more money to Colorado K-12 public schools.”

In the second episode, proponents explain how the new revenue would be distributed to each of the state’s 178 school districts.

“Concerns about high administrative expenses are raised as is Coloradans’ penchant for approving tax increases only if a proposal is very specific about how the revenue will be spent and exactly where the funds will go,” Harber said. “Opponents focus on the lack of specificity in the Amendment, especially regarding the absence of defining not only where the money will go but how its impacts will ne measured. Proponents argue this open-ended feature of the amendment give each school district the opportunity to decide where the funds would be spent most effectively.

“Proponents Olson and Kipp cite this as an opportunity to greatly enhance the quality of education for Colorado students in greatest need. One interesting question the panel addresses asks, “Is it justifiable to do something to help kids, even if it’s not perfect?”

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch

Joey Bunch is the senior political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has a 31-year career in journalism, including the last 15 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and is a two-time Pulitzer finalist. His resume includes covering high school sports, the environment, the casino industry and civil rights in the South, as well as a short stint at CNN.