Design a state budget that reflects your values

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Mission: Possible allows Coloradans to design their own state budget, share the results

Great Education Colorado and the Colorado Association of School Boards (CASB) have developed Mission: Possible, an interactive online budget simulation that allows Coloradans to make their own spending and revenue choices for the state budget.

Great Ed and CASB teamed up on this project because we believe all state residents must understand Colorado’s fiscal challenges and all possible solutions. In Colorado, because of constitutional amendments, it is voters – not legislators – who make the most important decisions about how Colorado invests in its future.

The simulation tool is named Mission: Possible because CASB and Great Ed believe Coloradans will want to design budgets that will allow our state to fully fund our schools, colleges and transportation – and all of the state’s essential public services.

Above all, Mission: Possible is an educational tool that allows state residents to learn about how the state raises and spends money. They can explore options that legislators can’t – Colorado is the only state where lawmakers can’t make tax policy.

In using the tool, Coloradans will learn some interesting and surprising things:

  • They will see how Colorado compares to the national average and highest-performing (and lowest-performing) states on per-pupil funding. If they dig deep, they will find that Colorado hasn’t been near the national average since the late1980s.
  • They will learn that no money from marijuana taxes goes into school classrooms. This tax revenue does many good things, but it does not do what many people think.
  • They will see how Colorado’s public schools and colleges universities have lost ground to high-achieving states and have dropped below the national average, when it comes to funding.
  • They will learn that rolling back the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act would save no state dollars this year.
  • They will learn that a pig can run a seven-minute mile. Honest. It’s amazing what you learn when you dig into the state budget.

When it comes to revenues, Mission: Possible users can see how Colorado compares to other states. Spoiler alert: In most every category for state revenue, Colorado’s tax rates rank among the lowest in the nation.

Is Colorado’s budget adequate to the task? Coloradans can answer that question – and can recommend changes – by using Mission: Possible to explore the state budget in an engaging way.

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