This week, the State House debated the state budget. Last Friday, we posted Republican Senate President Bill Cadman’s epic scolding of Democrats who complained about the budget (tip: it was Democrats’ bills the budget funded). This week, the Republicans pointed out that Democrats gutted K-12 education funding.
While schools were expecting a total one-time funding of around $200 million, through the budget process, schools received just a fraction of that – $25 million. House Minority Leader Brian DelGrosso (R-Loveland) offered an amendment to the state budget bill, S.B. 234 that would have made $15 million available to Colorado’s Department of Education, but Democrats blocked the funding.
From a House Republicans’ press release:
“Colorado’s general fund revenue has grown by more than 43% or $2.8 billion dollars since 2009, yet Democrats are not willing take money away from their own pet projects to boost funding for education,” said DelGrosso. “Every superintendent across the state has said the recessionary cuts are still greatly impacting school districts and I am frustrated House Democrats refuse to hear their concerns.”
Do Democrats have a pet project that ranks higher than education funding? Does the Colorado Education Association know that the Democratic Party has bigger priorities than funding education, some of which could go to increasing teachers’ salaries?
Since 1996, the Colorado Education Association has given over $4.3 million to candidates and political organizations, with $533,000 alone in 2014. In fact, since 1996, teachers unions from across the country have flooded Colorado with nearly $12 million in campaign contributions. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that, in fact, almost all of those donations went to liberal candidates, ballot measures, and causes.
It sure seems like money not well spent. After all, what good is it for unions to elect Democrats when Democrats put partisan politics over funding teachers? If we were a teacher, we would ask for a dues refund.