Access to preschool options is a top priority for Stand for Children Colorado. Early childhood is a critical time to support brain development and social-emotional skills needed to be successful in school and in life. All Colorado children deserve access to quality programming to put them on the right track. At Stand for Children, we are proud to advocate for expansion of high-quality Pre-K in Colorado.
This November, Colorado voters have the chance to improve our children’s health, provide desperately needed funding for public schools and ensure universal, free preschool for all Colorado’s kids. Amongst other funding opportunities, Proposition EE would give $375 million for schools by 2023 and $2 billion for universal pre-k over 10 years by increasing tax on cigarettes and other nicotine products.
Why Universal Pre-K?
Quite simply, preschool works. It is a proven strategy to set kids on the path to academic and lifelong success and an essential support for working parents. Unfortunately, Colorado provides some of the lowest funding in the country for early childhood education. Consequently, the Colorado Preschool Program only has funding to serve 40% of eligible students. We know quality preschool improves educational, economic, and health outcomes throughout a child’s life, including higher wages, higher graduation rates and less contact with the criminal justice system. For every $1 invested in quality preschool, between $8 and $16 is avoided in societal cost and between $2 and $3 is returned in increased per capita earnings and jobs for state residents.
Without passage of this referendum, the impacts of COVID will require devastating cuts to K-12 education in Colorado. In the first three fiscal years, the nicotine tax will bring in $375 million for the state education fund, preventing the worst of the cuts. It also provides critical support for affordable housing and eviction assistance for the next few years, helping to support many who are deeply affected by the economic downturn from COVID-19.
What Can I Do?
Register to vote and vote YES on EE