Call to Action: Please Contact Your Legislators for Increased K-12 Funding

Dear Littleton Public Schools Community:

I want to let you know of an important opportunity to make your voice heard at the Colorado Capitol.  

An ad hoc coalition of school districts from across the state has come together to launch the Kids Matter Too Coalition. This statewide coalition of parents and educators is calling on lawmakers to ensure Colorado’s growth benefits families by increasing funding for schools.

Colorado school districts are coping with a teacher shortage crisis, shrinking funds for special education and inadequate mental health services. Next week, the state budget projections will be released and many expect a surplus. Lawmakers will be making decisions about what to do with this additional funding, and Kids Matter Too Coalition members from every corner of the state are calling for additional funding to benefit students. Consider:

  • Colorado currently ranks 42nd in the nation in per pupil funding and 50th in the nation in teacher salary competitiveness. Next year, Colorado public schools will need to fill 3,000 vacant positions. This will be difficult with such low teacher salaries.
  • Funding additional mental health services is more than just a resource to help students succeed; it’s a student safety issue, as well. Years of budget cuts have decimated the ranks of school counselors and mental health professionals. Our students and families need more mental health support in our schools.
  • Only Oklahoma and Arizona spend less than Colorado on services for students with special needs. The federal and state government together only cover about 30% of the costs of these expensive services, which leaves individual school districts responsible to cover the remaining 70% with the dwindling funding they have.  

We often hear in the news about the strength of the state’s economy, but our schools are still reeling from drastic cuts during the recession. LPS alone has been shortchanged $101 million since 2008. Our students deserve better, and now the Legislature may be in a position to return some of this funding to its public schools.

I urge you to contact your legislators in the next few days to tell them how important it is to increase funding for K-12 education in Colorado. Kids Matter Too provides valuable resources to help you connect with elected officials.  

The 2018 Legislative Session is moving quickly, so please stay connected to these important issues:

Visit the kidsmattertoo.org website
Like Kids Matter Too on Facebook
Follow @Kids_MatterToo on Twitter

Help us secure critical funding for the students here in LPS and across Colorado. Your voice matters! Thank you for your continued partnership and support.

 

Sincerely,

Brian Ewert
Superintendent
Littleton Public Schools

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