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This page was last updated: July 22, 2013
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Education & Libraries

>> ADVANCED KINDERGARTENS DEMAND UNMET—The Denver Public Schools’ advanced kindergarten classes, with their stunning successes, is available for a select few, with a waiting list of applicants. Why is the concept not more widespread and how can advanced kindergartens be expanded beyond Denver to be made accessible to more children? (1

>> BASIC EDUCATION FAILURE--Colorado currently appropriates zero state funding for adult basic education. As a result, Colorado ranks near the bottom among the states in providing resources for adult basic education. Colorado's shortage of middle skills workers is directly tied to inadequacy of Colorado schools to provide basic education. To be competitive economically, Colorado must invest in adult basic education (1)

>> CHARTER SCHOOLS AUTHORIZERS—In the legal tug of war between school districts and charter school commissions for power and access to fund allocations, was the Colorado authorizer’s (Charter School Institute) 2009 constitutional court victory correct, especially in view of differing decisions in other states? (1)

>> CHARTER SCHOOL DISCRIMINATION—Do charter schools discriminate against students with special needs? Are charter school performances skewed because of selectivity of students? (1)

>> COLLEGE IMBALANCED ENROLLMENT: gender imbalance in majors. >>>

>> COLORADO MINORITIES EDUCATION ACHIEVEMENT GAPS—According to the State Accountability Report, the academic achievement gap among minorities in Colorado is unsatisfactory. (1)

>>COLORADO SCHOOL FUNDING CAMPAIGNS ETHICS QUESTIONED [1]

>> COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISCONNECT WITH BUSINESSES--Employer needs and community college training and education collaboration, and communication between these two sectors, are in great need of improvement. (1)

>> CONCEALED WEAPONS ON CAMPUS—Does the Colorado state law for concealed weapons apply on campus? Does a ban on concealed weapons on a university campus make sense in terms of preventing mass shootings such as at Virginia Tech? Does the university campus fall under the umbrella of Colorado’s Concealed Carry Act of 2003, which prohibits local governments from establishing gun bans? (1) (2) (3) (4)

>> EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION & CARE Colorado fails in the size and number of staff in classrooms, caseloads for state inspection workers and in the frequency of those inspections. Licensed child care is not available to most Coloradans, especially minorities. [1]

>> EDUCATIONAL ACHIEVEMENT RATES FOR HISPANICS—Colorado has the largest “ethnic achievement gap” in the nation, in terms of ratio of whites to blacks earning college degrees (far more whites than Hispanics earning degrees). (1)  

>> ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SHOULD BE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT? In 2011, Maryland became the first state to require "environmental literacy" as a high school graduation requirement. Should Colorado follow suit? (1)

>> FLAT COLLEGE TUTITION RATE--In-state and out-of-state students paying the same tuition rate would create certain advantages and benefits. (1)

>> FUNDING OF HIGHER EDUCATION—Colorado ranks 48th in local funding of higher education. This ranking, however, is disputed, based on how the statistic is compiled. (1

>> HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATES IN DENVER—Only 52 percent of Denver students graduate from high school. (1)  http://www.coloradouplift.org/drupal/

>> HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE COLLEGE ATTENDANCE RATES is only average for Colorado among the states. (1)  

>> HOME SCHOOLING OVER-REGULATED? Are home schooling curriculum and recordkeeping requirements overly detailed and more extensive than necessary? (1)

>> INFORMATION LITERACY EDUCATION--SHOULD IT BE MANDATORY IN SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES, OR AT LEAST OFFERED AS A FOR-CREDIT COURSE? Students and citizens are handicapped by lacking skills to find and use quality information in an increasingly complex information-laden society. (1)

>> RADON IN SCHOOLS--Radon is not being adequately tested in schools, despite a state law requiring it. (1)

>> SCHOOL LIBRARIAN CUTS HURTING EDUCATION--Two dozen studies show a positive link between library spending and student performance. [1]

>> SCHOOL REMEDIAL IDENTIFICATION—Children in schools are not being adequately identified as needing remedial help, contributing to college freshman upreparedness for academic work.

>> SCHOOL VOUCHERS—Providing financial aid to pervasively sectarian, religious schools and colleges with public funds in the form of student vouchers and financial aid and funding and tax credits to non-locally controlled schools has stiff opposition and been hotly challenged in the Colorado courts, involving both the federal and state constitutional issues. (1)

>> STUDENT PERFORMANCE—Are Colorado’s students mediocre or even failing on a national scale, suffering from a broad and persistent achievement gap? Or is Colorado making reasonable progress in K-12 education? What are the strong and weak areas?  (1) (2)   

>> TAXES: INCOME & SALES TAX--Should state income and sales tax be raised
to support education? (1)

>> TEACHER ACCOUNTABILITY—Should teachers be held accountable for student performance and test scores? Colorado has become a national leader in the movement for teacher accountability. (1                                                                       

>> TEACHER EFFECTIVENESS MEASUREMENTS—Colorado gets a failing grade for measuring teacher effectiveness.  (1)  

Economy
>> BANKS IN DANGER OF FAILING--Many Colorado banks, congruent with the national and global financial climate, are financially weak and vulnerable to failure. Weiss, a leading bank rating service, lists several Colorado banks with a "D" grade, and a handful of banks with an "E" grade. Colorado's bank failure rate is in the top ten nationally.  (1) (2) (3)

>> CHILD POVERTY SKYROCKETING--Colorado has the fastest-growing child-poverty rate in the nation (2010). (1)

>> “CLIFF EFFECT” SOLUTIONS—Low-wage workers and their families are penalized for increased earnings, defeating attempts to lift them out of economic hardship. What Colorado policies can be changed to help individuals and families get ahead? (1)

>> DECLINING HEALTH IMPACT ON ECONOMY—For example, the current economic impact of obesity in Colorado is an estimated $874 million each year. The health of our workforce is one of many variables that could help control runaway health insurance premiums. (1)

>> ECONOMIC IMPACT OF ILLEGAL ALIENS--The rifts between tax revenues, unreported income, and government services received by undocumented immigrants. (1)

>> ECONOMIC LOSS DUE TO HIGHWAY GRIDLOCK--The metro Denver region loses up to $38.5 billion in economic output due to unaddressed traffic congestion, according to a study. (1)

>> ENTERPRIZE ZONES A FAILURE IN COLORADO--Colorado's enterprise zone program has not been effective at promoting economic growth. (1)

>> MINIMUM WAGE LAWS AN OVER-REGULATION? Is Colorado's minimum wage law enactment harmful to the economy? Should Colorado's minimum wage levels revert to the federal level? (1)

>> MOVIE-MAKING INCENTIVES IMPORTANCE—Do state incentive programs for film-makers significantly benefit states economically? Should Colorado’s modest incentive program be ramped up to compete with other states? (1)

>> PAYDAY LOAN REFORM--With exorbitant interest rates, payday loans trap borrowers in an unanticipated and costly cycle of long-term debt they cannot easily escape.

>> POVERTY, FOOD INSECURITY & HOMELESSNESS is increasing in the state, impacting individuals, families, children, and the elderly. The number of Colorado children living in poverty has increased 85% since 2000. A 2009 report ranked Colorado 35th in providing assistance to homeless children.

>> RENEWABLE ENERGY--Legislative bills introduced in Colorado in 2011 would roll back existing renewable energy initiatives on the premise that these standards hurt the economy and negatively impact jobs, suppositions hotly disputed by clean energy advocates.

>> TABOR— this state government-spending limiting measure--is it necessary for dealing with out-of-control government growth, or an unnecessarily harsh crippling of government operations and the overall economy? (1)


Environment, Energy & Infrastructure
>> BACKYARD BURIALS--SHOULD THEY BE BANNED? Aurora is one city that has tried to outlaw home cemeteries. (1) (2)

>> COLORADO RIVER FLOW PROTECTION VITAL FOR LOCAL ECONOMIES (1)

>> COLORADO ROADLESS RULE--At odds with the national environmental protection law, and unnecessary in light of recent court cases? (1)

>> ELECTRONIC WASTE UNREGULATED IN COLORADO—Toxic electronic components are improperly ("dangerously and illegally") disposed of and recycled. A 2011 legislative measure to regulate electronic recycling was postponed indefinitely. (1) (2)

>> ENVIRONMENTAL LITERACY SHOULD BE A HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENT? In 2011, Maryland became the first state to require "environmental literacy" as a high school graduation requirement. Should Colorado follow suit? (1)

>> INFRASTRUCTURE IN DISREPAIR—Roads, bridges, and drinking water are serious trouble spots. (1)

>> FRACKING A THREAT TO ENVIRONMENT? OIL EXPLORATION AND NATURAL GAS DRILLING  USING HYDRAULIC FRACTURING (FRACKING)—Communities' fears of fracking contamination of groundwater dismissed by Gov. Hickenlooper. (1) (2) [3]

>> RADON IN COLORADO--Is this natural environmental hazard being given adequate attention in Colorado? How significant is it a problem in this state? Radon is not being adequately tested in schools, despite a state law requiring it. (1)

>> RENEWABLE ENERGY STANDARD FOR COLORADO, which requires major utilities to get 30 percent of their power generation from renewables by the year 2020is it unconstitutional, as asserted in a lawsuit? (1)

>> ROCKY FLATS NUCLEAR CONTAMINATION STILL A CONCERN?—One of the nation’s largest-ever nuclear-contaminated areas, amidst protests and lawsuits, was cleaned up and turned into a wildlife refuge amidst lingering contamination concerns.

>> TOXIC ASPHALT SEALANT—A coal tar sealant, used for parking lots and driveways, a carcinogen that has alarmed scientists, banned in one state, finds its way into homes, schools and all other types of buildings, rivers and streams. (1)

>> UTILITY RATES THAT ARE TIERED HURT AVERAGE CONSUMER--(1)

>> WATER ACCESS—How can the power struggle and conflict between cities and farmers for access to water be resolved?

>> WATER QUALITY DECLINE—The water quality decline in Colorado’s rivers and streams is declining at an alarming rate. The state lacks adequate funding for adequate inspection and control of water pollution standards. (1)

>> WILDFIRE PREVENTION REGULATIONS--Colorado lacks regulations for homeowners that would protect their homes against wildfires. [1]

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