DENVER, Colo. – Public education supporters will gather at the Capitol on Thursday, April 29 to ask the Senate Education Committee to pass Senate Concurrent Resolution 002, known as the “DECIDE” referendum for “Decide: Education Cuts or Invest in our Democracy and Economy.” Last week, the House Education Committee passed DECIDE on an 8-4 vote. Dozens are expected to testify at the committee hearing.
The resolution was first proposed by Great Futures Colorado  – a new coalition of more than a dozen diverse Colorado community organizations – that approached House sponsor Representative Debbie Benefield and Senate sponsors Suzanne Williams and Chris Romer with the plan because “in the face of crippling cuts to education, inaction is no longer an option.” If passed by two-thirds of the House and Senate and approved by voters in November 2010, DECIDE would give the legislature the authority to raise revenues in order to prevent and reverse cuts to education – preschool through higher education – and for other education priorities including accountable education reform, class size reduction, technology, safe schools, and affordable, quality post-secondary opportunities.
Senate Education Committee Hearings on Senate Concurrent Resolution 002 
Old Supreme Court Chambers
North end of Second Floor of State Capitol
200 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203-1776
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Parents, grandparents, business owners, students, educators, clergy, school board members and other concerned citizens, as well as representatives from the members of the Great Futures Colorado coalition, which includes more than a dozen community organizations: Associated Students of Colorado, Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented, Colorado Association for Gifted and Talented, Colorado Council of Churches, Colorado PTA, Colorado Rural Schools Caucus, Colorado School Foundation Association, Colorado Statewide Parent Coalition, Every Child Matters, Great Education Colorado, Impact on Education, Justice and Peace Ministry Team – Rocky Mountain Conference United Church of Christ, Kyffin Elementary PTA, Mitchell Elementary PTA, Padres Unidos, Partnership for Families and Children, Wickerdale Walkers, and Women Informed Network.
Colorado’s recession and budget crisis has brought crippling cuts to P-12 education – an expected $400 – 600 average per pupil cut in the coming year, resulting in districts laying off teachers, increasing class sizes, slashing technology budgets, closing schools and even moving to four-day weeks. At the same time, an oncoming funding “cliff” for higher education could close whole departments and community colleges, raise tuition to unaffordable levels, and result in the loss of high-quality faculty.
The Great Futures Colorado Campaign is a coalition of community organization that was formed in January 2010 to educate about and advocate for implementation of, and adequate funding for, an education system that will prepare all children for the challenges of the 21st century. Great Futures provides member organizations with educational tools and opportunities for united action toward our shared vision. For more information, visit www.greatfuturescolorado.org <http://www.greatfuturescolorado.org/> .