In a 35-30 vote, the Colorado House of Representatives failed to reach the two-thirds majority vote and the Senate never brought it to the vote necessary to put DECIDE (HCR 1002) on the ballot in November 2010. Great Education Colorado — a member of the Great Futures Colorado coalition, which proposed the referendum — issued the following statement:
We are deeply disappointed that the voters will not have any opportunity on the November 2010 ballot to prevent and reverse deep and disastrous cuts to schools, colleges and universities. It is unfortunate that the legislature did not trust the voters enough to let us DECIDE whether to invest more in our children, economy and future.
We knew from the start that it would be an uphill battle to put DECIDE on the ballot. If there were an easy way to fix Colorado’s education crisis it would have been done by now.
Even though DECIDE will not be on the ballot, this effort was tremendously successful. The Great Futures coalition moved the budget reform conversation forward, by focusing attention on the urgency of the education funding crisis (preschool through higher education), offering a solution, and reminding Colorado that a fix to the funding crisis is within our grasp.
Thousands of public education supporters stepped into the political process — many for the first time — to testify, call and write their legislators. Together they took DECIDE far beyond what anyone expected, and put the legislature on notice that we will not sit idly by, as budget cuts dim the prospects of our children and our state.
We are tremendously grateful for the courage and leadership demonstrated by DECIDE’s prime sponsors — Representative Debbie Benefield, and Senators Suzanne Williams and Chris Romer — and by all the other legislators who cosponsored and voted for DECIDE.
The defeat of DECIDE is a disappointment and a blow to the educational opportunities of over one million students in Colorado. It does not mark an ending, however. To the contrary, we are just getting started. We will not rest until Colorado provides the resources necessary to ensure the legacy of a quality education for every child.