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Jared Polis on Education

 

 


Achieve universal pre-school for 4-year-olds by end of term

In my budget this year, we're proposing to help an additional 6,000 children attend preschool, which for the first time will bring coverage to half of all eligible kids in Colorado. We should feel good about reaching this milestone. But it has taken more than three decades to get only half the job done. We can and we must do better, which is why I'm committed to achieving universal access to quality preschool for 4-year-olds by the end of my first term.

We know that under Colorado's system of local control, individual districts set teacher salaries. When I speak with school leaders, they want to pay teachers better. But because of our fiscal rules, the state spends far too much money backfilling some of the wealthiest districts not only in the state, but in the country. That is truly at the root of our school funding issues. Together, we can fix this systemic problem and finally raise pay for our hardworking educators.

Source: 2020 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 9, 2020

Increased higher education funding, plus $100 for newborns

Most of the time, but not always, the path to success involves some higher education degree or credential. But rising costs are putting higher education out of reach for too many. We took action by increasing the General Fund investment in higher education by 13%, an increase that we are building on in our new budget. Thanks to new legislation enacted last year, we are putting $100 into a college savings account for every single Colorado child born or adopted beginning January 1st of this year.
Source: 2020 Colorado State of the State address , Jan 9, 2020

Started two public charter schools for at-risk youth

We all agree that every child deserves a great education. One of the great joys of my life was starting the New America School and the Academy of Urban Learning--public charter schools for at-risk youth--and seeing how kids who had fallen through the cracks in our education system could take off and go on to achieve amazing things once they were given the opportunity.

It's time for us to build a Colorado education system where every single child--regardless of their zip code--gets a great education that prepares them for a bright future. And it begins with preschool and kindergarten. Our top priority this session is empowering every single Colorado community to offer free, full-day kindergarten, while expanding free preschool to 8,000 more Colorado children.

"Free Kindergarten Now" for all children will save taxpayer money in the long run by increasing incomes and decreasing the achievement gap. It will strengthen families, our communities, and our economy.

Source: 2019 State of the State address to Colorado legislature , Jan 10, 2019

Increased across-the-board funding and preschool for all

Q: Increase funding for K-12 education?

Jared Polis (D): Yes. Advocates for increased across-the-board funding and preschool for all. Has also supported related levies and bonds and will continue to do so.

Walker Stapleton (R): Yes. But "it is critical to ensure that these dollars actually make it into the classroom."

Q: Support recent teachers' strikes?

Polis: Yes. Stop underpaying teachers, "instead of criminalizing [their] right to.demand fair compensation."

Stapleton: Unknown.

Q: Education: Support providing vouchers or tax breaks to parents to send their children to private schools with public money?

Polis: "I've voted against vouchers every time they've come up in Congress. I don't support diverting funds from public schools to private schools. Period."

Stapleton: Yes. Advocates "school choice" and believes "each student that gets . $10,000 in funding should take that money .& .do whatever they want."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Colorado Governor race , Oct 9, 2018

Prime supporter of Amendment 23 for school funding in 2000

Polis was a prime supporter of Amendment 23 for school funding in 2000 but he was on the sidelines for the failed Amendment 66 measure [Republican gubernatorial opponent Walker] Stapleton helped defeated in 2013 and he has not endorsed Initiative 93, a $1.6 billion effort this year.

The Republican nominee, of course, lacks the backing of the state teacher's union, which endorsed Polis this month. But in the primary, the Colorado Education Association ran an attack ad against Polis.

"Our members share Jared's concern that too many communities don't have the resources they need for every child to succeed," the president of the Colorado Education Association said. "We have created 'haves and have-nots' among our children, and nowhere is that more apparent than with our youngest students who don't receive the same level of quality early childhood education. Jared impressed us with his strong commitment to give all kids a great start and better prepare them for a successful lifetime of learning."

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette on 2018 Colorado gubernatorial race , Aug 31, 2018

Voted YES on $40B for green public schools.

Congressional Summary:Make grants to states for the modernization, renovation, or repair of public schools, including early learning facilities and charter schools, to make them safe, healthy, high-performing, and technologically up-to-date.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes: Rep. BETSY MARKEY (D, CO-4): This legislation will improve the learning environment for our children, reduce energy costs and create new jobs across the country. Green schools not only save school districts money but also teach the importance of sustainable living to children at a young age.

Opponent's argument to vote No: Rep. GLENN THOMPSON (R, PA-5): We all know our Nation is drowning in a sea of red ink. The bill we're debating today would add an estimated $40 billion in new spending. And despite the majority's hollow promises of fiscal responsibility, there's nothing in the legislation to offset this hefty price tag with spending reductions elsewhere. This is just more of the same borrow and spend, spend and borrow policy that we've seen under this majority and this administration.

Reference: 21st Century Green Schools Act; Bill H.R.2187 ; vote number 2009-H259 on May 14, 2009

Sponsored extending subsidized federal student loan rates until 2015.

Polis co-sponsored Student Loan Affordability Act

Congressional Summary:Amends title IV (Student Assistance) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the 3.4% interest rate on Federal Direct Stafford loans to loans first disbursed to undergraduate students between July 1, 2011, and July 1, 2015. Replaces the [termination date of] 2013 with 2015.

Proponent's argument for bill:(US PIRG press release): The Student Loan Affordability Act keeps interest rates affordable for students over the next two years. If Congress fails to act by July 1, interest rates on federal Subsidized Stafford Loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8%. That would hike the cost of college by $1,000 per student, per loan, for over 7 million students across the country. The bill pays for extending the current interest rates through 2015 by closing three non-education tax loopholes.

Opponent's argument against bill:(Rep. Tom Cotton, R-AR): Unfortunately, too many students today struggle for years to repay their loans because Washington politicians dictate student-loan rates and end up hurting students and taxpayers alike. It's causing tuition costs to skyrocket, leaving students buried in debt, often without jobs, and forced to delay buying a home and starting a family. As students struggle to repay their loans--regardless of the interest rate--taxpayers are on the hook for a $100 billion bailout--a burden hard-working Arkansans shouldn't have to bear. A better path is to let Arkansas's hometown banks work with students and families to finance higher education, just as they do with homes, farms, businesses, and other loans. I'm committed to bringing affordable higher education to every Arkansan and ending the federal-government monopoly on the student-lending business.

Source: S.707 / H.R.1433 13-H1433 on Apr 11, 2013

No-strings-attached block grant will kill transparency.

Polis voted NAY A-PLUS Amendment To Student Success Act

Heritage Action Summary: An amendment offered by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to the Student Success Act (H.R. 5). The amendment, known as A-PLUS (Academic Partnerships Lead Us to Success), would give the states the ability to consolidate their federal education funds and use them for any lawful education purpose they deem beneficial.

Heritage Foundation recommendation to vote YES: (7/8/2015): A-PLUS lets states escape No Child Left Behind's prescriptive programmatic requirements. At its core, A-PLUS delivers on the promise of "restoring state and local control over the 10% of education funding financed by the federal government," moving dollars out of the hands of federal bureaucrats and political appointees and into the hands of those closer to the students. Now is the time for Congress to restore federalism in education, empower parents and students instead of bureaucrats and unions, and remove archaic obstacles that have prevented true opportunity for all.

US News and World Report recommendation to vote NO: (4/7/2015): A-PLUS [is intended as] a no-strings-attached block grant. There isn't all that much the federal government can do well in education, but it's because of federally-required transparency that charter schools and voucher schools can demonstrate that they work. For example, New York City's Success Academy scores in the top 1% of all the state's public schools in math and in the top 3% in English. When Success Academy came under fire from teachers' union-backed Mayor Bill de Blasio, it was able to fight back with numbers to prove it. If a strong-union state were to receive a no-strings-attached block grant, transparency would be the first thing to go. A no-strings-attached block grant is an overreaction to federal overreach.

Legislative outcome: Failed House 195 to 235 (no Senate vote)

Source: Congressional vote 15-H0005 on Jul 8, 2015

Oppose private and religious school voucher programs.

Polis voted NAY SOAR Act

Heritage Action Summary: The House will vote to reauthorize the Scholarships for Opportunity and Results (SOAR) Act (H.R. 10). The bill would continue funding through Fiscal Year 2021 and allow eligible students in Washington, D.C. to enroll in a participating private school.Analysis by Heritage Action:

ACLU recommendation to vote NO: (Letter to U.S.House, 3/29/2011): The ACLU urges Congress to oppose the SOAR Act, legislation to restart and expand Washington DC's failed private and religious school voucher pilot program. Originally started as a five-year pilot program in 2004, the DC voucher program is the nation's first and only federally-funded private and religious school voucher program. Under the federal voucher pilot program, funds were provided to schools even though they infuse their curricular materials with specific religious content and even though they are not covered by many of the nation's civil rights statutes that would otherwise protect students against discrimination. Additionally, each of the congressionally-mandated studies to explore the pilot program concluded that the voucher program had no significant effect on the academic achievement.

Cato Institute recommendation to vote YES: (4/28/2016): The Obama administration has repeatedly worked to undermine or eliminate the DC school choice program, even though it has the support of local Democratic politicians such as the DC Mayor and a majority of the DC City Council. Low-income students shouldn't be condemned to low-quality schools just because their parents cannot afford a home in a wealthy neighborhood. The DC program was an important step toward breaking the link between home prices and school quality.

Legislative outcome: Passed by the House 240-191-3; never came to a vote in the Senate.

Source: Congressional vote 15-H0010 on Oct 21, 2015

Other governors on Education: Jared Polis on other issues:
CO Gubernatorial:
Bob Beauprez
Cary Kennedy
Cynthia Coffman
Donna Lynne
Doug Robinson
Ed Perlmutter
George Brauchler
Greg Lopez
John Hickenlooper
Matthew Hess
Michael Bennet
Mike Johnston
Steve Barlock
Tom Tancredo
Victor Mitchell
Walker Stapleton
CO Senatorial:
Alice Madden
Andrew Romanoff
Angela Williams
Cory Gardner
Dan Baer
Darryl Glenn
Ellen Burnes
John Hickenlooper
John Walsh
Jon Keyser
Michael Bennet
Mike Johnston
Peg Littleton
Ryan Frazier
Tim Neville
Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
CA Recall:
S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
vs.Former U.S.Rep Doug Ose(R)
NJ: Incumbent Phil Murphy(D)
vs.State Rep. Jack Ciattarelli(R)
vs.Candidate Hirsh Singh(R)
vs.GOP Hair Doug Steinhardt(R)
VA: Incumbent Ralph Northam(D,term-limited)
vs.A.G. Mark Herring(D)
vs.State Sen. Amanda Chase(R)
vs.Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax(D)
vs.State Rep. Jennifer Carroll Foy(D)
vs.State Rep. Lee Carter(D)
vs.Former Governor Terry McAuliffe(D)
vs.State Sen. Jennifer McClellan(D)
vs.State Rep. Kirk Cox(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2022:
AK: Incumbent Mike Dunleavy(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
AL: Incumbent Kay Ivey(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
AR: Incumbent Asa Hutchinson(R,term-limited)
vs.Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin(R)
vs.Trump Adviser Sarah Huckabee Sanders(R)
vs.A.G. Leslie Rutledge(R)
AZ: Incumbent Doug Ducey(R,term-limited)
(no prospective opponents yet)
CA: Incumbent Gavin Newsom(D)
vs.S.D.Mayor Kevin_Faulconer(R)
vs.Former Gov. nominee John Cox(R)
CO: Incumbent Jared Polis(D)
vs.Mayor Greg Lopez(R)
CT: Incumbent Ned Lamont(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
FL: Incumbent Ron DeSantis(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Val Demings(? D)
vs.Former Gov.Charlie Crist(? D)
GA: Incumbent Brian Kemp(R)
vs.Minority Leader Stacey Abrams(D)
vs.Senate candidate Shane Hazel(L)
HI: Incumbent David Ige(D,term-limited)
vs.State Rep. Andria Tupola(R)
IA: Incumbent Kim Reynolds(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Cindy Axne(? R)
ID: Incumbent Brad Little(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
IL: Incumbent J. B. Pritzker(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
KS: Incumbent Laura Kelly(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
MA: Incumbent Charlie Baker(R)
vs.Harvard Professor Danielle Allen(D)
vs.State Sen.Ben Downing(D)
MD: Incumbent Larry Hogan(R,term-limited)
vs.State Rep. Robin Ficker(R)
vs.State Rep. Peter Franchot(D)
vs.DNC chair Thomas Perez(D)
vs.RNC chair Michael Steele(? R)
Gubernatorial Debates 2022 (continued):
ME: Incumbent Janet Mills(D)
vs.Former Gov. Paul LePage(R)
MI: Incumbent Gretchen Whitmer(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
MN: Incumbent Tim Walz(DFL)
vs.Mayor Mike Murphy(R)
NE: Incumbent Pete Ricketts(R,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Senator Bob Krist(R)
NH: Incumbent Chris Sununu(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
NM: Incumbent Michelle Lujan Grisham(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
NV: Incumbent Steve Sisolak(D)
vs.A.G.Adam Laxalt(? R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Mark Amodei(? R)
NY: Incumbent Andrew Cuomo(D)
vs.Lt.Gov.Kathy Hochul(D)
OH: Incumbent Mike DeWine(R)
vs.Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley(? D)
OK: Incumbent Kevin Stitt(R)
vs.State Sen. Ervin Yen(R)
OR: Incumbent Kate Brown(D,term-limited)
vs.Gov. nominee Bud Pierce(R)
PA: Incumbent Tom Wolf(D,term-limited)
vs.U.S.Rep. Lou Barletta(? R)
RI: Incumbent Gina Raimondo(D,to Cabinet)
vs.Gov. Dan McKee(D)
vs.Secy.Matt Brown(? D)
vs.Mayor Allan Fung(? R)
SC: Incumbent Henry McMaster(R)
vs.State Rep. James Emerson Smith(? D)
vs.U.S.Rep. Joe Cunningham(? R)
SD: Incumbent Kristi Noem(R)
vs.State Rep. Billie Sutton(? D)
TN: Incumbent Bill Lee(R)
vs.Senate nominee Marquita Bradshaw(? D)
TX: Incumbent Greg Abbott(R)
vs.U.S.Rep. Allen West(? R)
VT: Incumbent Phil Scott(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WI: Incumbent Tony Evers(D)
(no prospective opponents yet)
WY: Incumbent Mark Gordon(R)
vs.Minority Leader Chris Rothfuss(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2023:
KY: Incumbent Andy Beshear(D)
vs.Former Gov. Matt Bevin(? R)
Senator Rand Paul(? R)
LA: Incumbent John Bel Edwards(D,term-limited)
vs.Biden Adviser Cedric Richmond(? D)
vs.Senator John Neely Kennedy(? R)
MS: Incumbent Tate Reeves(R)
(no prospective opponents yet)
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Page last updated: Apr 09, 2021