Education Top of Mind for Governor
January 10, 2014
Broncomania isn’t the only thing on our mind this week in the Wild West. As we heard this week with the start of the 69th general assembly session, education reform is a top priority for our governor and speaker of the house.
DFER-CO Advisory Board Member and Speaker of the House Mark Ferrandino summed it up best in his opening comments, saying, “Our goal is to make our education system stronger, more accountable and better for all Colorado students. And that means working together to target more resources where they’re needed most: in the classroom.” We at DFER-CO applaud the Speaker’s steadfast dedication to ensuring, as he said,“that our students, regardless of circumstance, can become effective learners and competitive job-seekers after they graduate.”
We are proud of Governor John Hickenlooper’s words in his State of the State, which echoed Ferrandino’s and highlighted the importance of education reform. “The single most important investment we can make in infrastructure is in our bridges to tomorrow—our children,” he said in his remarks. “We must support effective teachers, students and parents. We must find a way to address key reforms that have made Colorado a national model.”
DFER-CO supports the governor’s plan calling for school budget transparency, and for legislation that will alter current funding structures based on enrollment on one single day. In Hickenlooper’s words, “It is nonsense not to have a powerful economic incentive for student retention.” We will push our legislators and governor to better manage school funding and hold them accountable.
What remains clear is that there is not one easy answer to fixing our state’s broken education financial system. DFER-CO will continue to focus on helping shape legislation that changes this, and educating current and new legislators on why this is critical to the overall economic health of our state.
Here’s to more legislative wins for our children’s futures. And, maybe, if we’re extra lucky, this weekend the Broncos will also register a win.
Jennifer Walmer is the state director of DFER Colorado (DFER-CO). Prior to joining DFER-CO, Walmer was the Chief of Staff for the Superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, Tom Boasberg, where she helped pass a $500 million bond and mill initiative in November 2012. Walmer also was the Superintendent’s primary strategic liaison with a divided Board of Education; managed government affairs for the district; and led strategic partnership efforts with community organizations. Read more about Jen here.
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