Letter: Consider lottery for education
After reading and observing the recent teacher walk-ins, news articles, and Dr. Rob Stein’s recent column about teacher’s low salaries, I am compelled to re-introduce my educational lottery concept.
Every year, we hear about the lack of funds for education in Colorado. Colorado’s ranking of 44th in teacher-pay in the nation [Editor’s note: recently corrected to 31st] is not acceptable. Colorado also ranks very low in per pupil expenditures in the nation, as well.
Let’s throw in the quagmire of state laws that prevent taxes to be raised to increase funding for education in Colorado. So, there are many roadblocks preventing teacher salary-increases and other priority spending for education. Teacher resignations are increasing in our Colorado schools. The cost of living for teachers and other workers in our valley is out of control.
We need creative solutions to raise teacher salaries and keep them here. I introduced the educational lottery concept to the Colorado Legislature three times in this decade. In 2014, I drafted a bill detailing the educational lottery. It gained some traction with a few legislators on one of the education committees. It was tabled indefinitely at that time.
The great thing about an educational lottery is that it is not a tax. Property owners cannot be burdened with any more taxes. A marijuana tax is not reliable. Revenue is likely to go down in the future. An educational lottery is a safe bet. It will grow into sizeable fund for education and teacher salaries. Investing in our children’s education and safety should be the highest priority right now. It’s for a great cause!