Jonathan Lockwood
A rural hat trick of opposition to Amendment 66
DENVER (October 22, 2013)—As of today, all three major rural coalition groups, representing southern, northeastern and western Colorado, have announced their opposition to the billion-dollar per year tax increase proposed by Amendment 66.

“Clearly, urban downtown Denver bureaucrats don’t speak for rural Colorado, they don’t speak for everyone, no matter how incessantly they say they do,” said Amy Oliver Cooke of the Independence Institute, a Coloradans for Real Education Reform coalition member. “It is unfair to struggling rural communities to demand, ‘pay up, your money is going to Denver.’”

The three major rural coalition groups announcing their opposition to Amendment 66 include Club 20, Progressive 15 and Action 22. Club 20 is a Western Slope organization of counties, communities, tribes, businesses, individuals and associations representing a rural voice. Progressive 15 was formed to stand up for rural Colorado, to influence public policy and enhance economic viability for rural areas. Action 22, another organization representing rural areas, pulls together businesses, organizations, non-profits, cities and counties as well as individuals, in order to give a voice to southern Colorado.

“What we see with this rural hat trick of opposition to Amendment 66 is a victory for real education reform,” said Cooke. “Every day, as more and more people find out information and the truth about Amendment 66, Coloradans for Real Education Reform gains more support.”

Amendment 66 misallocates funds and creates an unfair distribution scheme that will negatively impact many school districts. Educational research clearly suggests the kinds of changes that improve student achievement in public schools. Amendment 66 would impede these changes by condemning students in poor schools to a poor education.

“How much sense does it make to take money from rural families to pump into a failing system? None,” said Cooke. “Coloradans across the state deserve better than having their hard-earned income taken away from them to spend arbitrarily on reform-free proposals.”

Neither Amendment 66, nor its accompanying legislation, contain guarantees the money raised will be spent directly in classrooms on students and teachers. Senate Bill 213 creates substantial new funding inequities that will allocate funding on the basis of programs, which already have questionable efficacy, and generate new incentives to maintain the status quo in a failing school system.

“We are going to see this measure taken down by Colorado’s families, and a broad coalition of people who know they deserve better,” added Cooke. “The proponents can continue wasting money on advertising and spreading myths, but it’s not going to work. Coloradans are smarter than special interest groups who don’t really care.”

About Coloradans for Real Education Reform

The bipartisan coalition, Coloradans for Real Education Reform, was developed to advocate for substantive reform that leads to measurable gains in student achievement and to oppose the billion dollar tax increase proposed by Amendment 66. For additional information, please visit us at

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