We can all agree that we want well educated kids, happy teachers and the best and safest schools for them.  

As a father of 3 with my oldest just getting ready to enter the school system, you could imagine how important this is to me.

Our state government has been instructed by the citizens to make sure that our children have access to great education. As such, when it comes to funding from the state, Education funding should be a priority and they will be with me. But Colorado is a very diverse state and each community has their own concerns. This is why I want to work with my fellow legislators in finding a fix for the limitations that have been seen by our local school districts by the interaction of the Gallagher Amendment and the Tax Payer's Bill of Rights.

Our local school districts should not be limited to what the state is handing out, and the local community should be able to raise the local funds they need as the the citizens see fit. 

Colorado has a robust charter school community and we have seen great achievement out of these schools. My hope is that the local school districts are working with these successful schools so that we can expand that into the traditional public schools. There are waiting lists for the charter schools for a reason, lets tap into that and bring the success to all of our students.

Sometimes the public school is just not a good fit for a family. Whatever the reason, I would like to see parents be able to select the best place for their child to be educated. For our lower income families, this can come as a challenge financially and they feel trapped into a system that is not a good fit for them. While there are great private scholarship opportunities throughout the state, such as the Alliance for CHOICE in Education (ACE) Scholarships, I think we can do more. I would like to explore the options of making educational expenses that families incur be a tax deduction and lower their taxable income. This would benefit those families that are having to make hard choices on where their money goes a little more comfortable, and help with the feeling that they are being taxed for a service that they are not using. Keep in mind, any loss of revenue that the state sees does not have to affect the states funding of schools. As I said before, legislators have to prioritize the budget, and education is a priority for me, as I know it is for the citizens of this district. 

The voucher question has been answered by the Colorado Supreme Court. To me it is quite clear in our state constitution that vouchers are not a solution for those looking for private schools as a school choice. The Colorado Constitution clearly states that no general funds from the state or local districts will be directed to sectarian organizations. I think we can come up with ways that do not harm the public education budget, but gives parents some freedom to be able to choose the best education for their children.