My Fun Morning at the State Capitol 

By Mary McNeil Cheever, Great Ed Volunteer and Advocate I recently signed up for Great Education Colorado’s Advocacy Day at the capitol to talk to my legislators about public education funding in my district.  Even though I have been involved, on and off, for years with education funding issues, I was pretty nervous about actually going to the capitol, pulling my Senator and Representative off the floor and talking directly with them about these matters. It turns out my fears were entirely unfounded.  Not only did I not need to be nervous, I actually had a lot of ...

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Gut Check

Which Colorado do you want to live in: A) One where we limit and cut funding for education in good economic times because of a formula in the constitution that requires automatic tax rebates; OR B) A Colorado where we use growing revenues to reverse education cuts and invest in the future of our students, our communities, our economy and a vibrant middle class. If you agree that full-day kindergarten, well-supported students and teachers, and individual attention are worth more than a $20 tax rebate, you need to add your voice to our petition telling state ...

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Announcing a new initiative from Great Education Colorado

Access to a quality education is the civil rights movement of our time. Currently, Colorado is in the bottom 10 percent in the nation regarding per capita spending on education and has not provided children of color with the resources they need to graduate and enter college or the workforce. We can and must do better. For over a decade, Great Education Colorado has been working with public education supporters like you toward a vision — a Colorado where every student graduates ready for the world. To achieve that goal, we know that all Colorado children — ...

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Help us understand the challenges to effective organizing and advocacy

Close your eyes and picture a classroom that meets your vision of what the students in your life and your community need and deserve. What did you see?  A manageable number of kids in the room? Teachers with support and time? A fully equipped, safe lab?  Other improvements your district can't afford? Chances are, no matter what you pictured, it would take a decision by some elected officials or by the voters to make it happen.  That's the reality: Improving education generally requires advocacy to someone — usually by a whole lot of people acting together. ...

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Great Education Colorado celebrates Dr. Donna Lynne and Dr. Cindy Stevenson at 2014 Luncheon

At the 4th Annual Great Education Colorado Luncheon on October 2, 2014, Great Ed honored Dr. Donna Lynne, President of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado and presented Dr. Cindy Stevenson with the Vicki A. Mattox Award for Excellence in Education. Scroll down to see a video about Dr. Lynne and Great Education Colorado. Our thanks to all who attended and donated so generously to make Great Ed's work -- Grassroots Powering Education -- possible. More about Dr. Lynne and Dr. Stevenson: Dr. Donna Lynne Education Advocate and President, Kaiser ...

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What do we owe our children?

It’s a question of legacy and priorities, about hopes, dreams and responsibility. What do we owe our children? It’s a question that could spark a long, interesting conversation among parents, students, citizens, and policymakers. But here in Colorado, this isn’t a theoretical question. In Colorado, there is one particular, concrete debt that we literally owe Colorado’s children. In 2000, when we passed Amendment 23, Colorado voters made a promise in the constitution to increase our investment in Colorado’s kids — in good times and bad. We haven’t kept ...

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Session review: A good year to build on

The 2014 legislative session ended last week and we were left with this question: What do you call a session where the legislature did make significant new investments in education (preschool through higher ed) but did not do all it could have to restore the $1 billion we owe our students? We call it "a good year to build on." Let's break it down. First of all, it was a "good year" because of unprecedented engagement by public education supporters. Not only were the superintendents virtually unanimous in their advocacy for significant reversal of the ...

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An open letter to public education supporters

Thank you. When this session began, the conventional wisdom was that there would be no effort to reverse education cuts – that keeping up with inflation was the most we should expect. We knew then that it had to be “grassroots to the rescue” of Colorado’s students. We set citizen advocacy goals and you blew past them. And when the dust settled on the session, Colorado’s students fared a whole lot better (more than $150 million better) than the “conventional wisdom” predicted. This year, grassroots mattered. Here’s what you accomplished:. 105 ...

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First Take: What Happened on School Finance?

It took until the last day of the session, but the legislature has finally made its decisions on funding for the 2014-15 school year.   We’ll provide further analysis when the ink has dried next week; for now, just the facts (and just a little commentary). This year was marked by unprecedented engagement by public education supporters.   Not only were the superintendents virtually unanimous in their advocacy for significant reversal of the negative factor, but Great Ed supporters made their voices heard loud, clear and effectively in the Capitol.  Grassrootsmade ...

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Students need addition, not subtraction

We will be losing Spanish, woodshop, gifted talented, half our physical education and half our computer classes as well as cutting back on levels of math and language classes. — ML, Hesperus Now after seeing how low a priority funding is, I have to reconsider my choice of Colorado as a future place to grow my business. — JJ, Broomfield These are just a couple of the hundreds of stories we collected last month; they are the words of people who — like you — understand that the need to reinvest in our schools is urgent. Unfortunately, that sense of ...

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