Henry Levin—Professor at Colombia Teacher’s College (Expert witness shared with MALDEF)
- Described both the economic and social costs of an inadequate education
- Economic costs of an inadequate education place burden on tax payer, health care system, and justice system
- The Colorado taxpayer loses $122,400 every time a student fails to graduate (this is a conservative estimate)
- “Thus the total burden of inadequate education for each annual cohort of Colorado public school students is $1.61 billion.” Burden is “equivalent to approximately 8% of the total budget.”
- Social Burden: “The full burden of inadequate education is significantly greater than the burden on the taxpayer.” “The biggest loss to society occurs because of the relationship between education and increases in the productivity of the labor force as a whole”
- Total aggregate social burden: (Combination of social and fiscal): $6.03 billion for 11,500 CO public school students who did not complete high school
- International comparisons of scores and spending are not accurate as school budgets in U.S. include health care and benefit costs, while these costs are not part of many European school budgets.
Sue Windels—former State Senator and past chair of Senate Education Committee
- The legislature never did any analysis of what education ‘thorough and uniform’ base costs should be, what factors should be, or categorical funding during her tenure.
- Gifts, grants, and donations are used to fund programs, even though this is not a sustainable model, instead of making sure that the money is there from the general fund.
Jack Pommer, former State Senator and former chair of the Joint Budget Committee
- Legislature never did a costing out study of what it would it would cost to fund a ‘thorough and uniform’ education system in Colorado.
- Total unreimbursed categorical costs for special education in 07/08: $523 million. This is money that the districts spend from their general fund. Similar unreimbursed costs for transportation and ELPA (English Langauge Proficiency Act)