Cooke: Bill would help make education in Colorado more affordable

By Senator John Cooke & Representative Janice Rich

Parents, students, and teachers across the state have experienced firsthand some of the shortcomings in the educational system in Colorado. The decreasing quality of education in Colorado is a serious cause of concern.

In 2021, over 50 percent of Colorado students in grades 3, 5, and 7 were not meeting grade-level expectations in both English and Math.  For years, our educators have been consistently pulling from their own resources to cover the gaps in our failing education system.

In 2018, a study done by the Department of Education found that 94 percent of teachers across the nation pay for school supplies from their own income. This same study found that those teachers spent an average of $479 on school supplies. Every year, teachers spend about $500 of their own money to ensure their students have the necessary supplies for the school year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated the problem with both students and teachers in need of additional resources. Many teachers have been placed with a financial burden, needing resources for safety measures or educational resources to help students get back on track after distance learning. It is time to reduce the financial burden placed on teachers.

Read the full op-ed on the Greeley Tribune website.

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