Colorado Public School Districts Relaunch Statewide Campaign “Kids Matter Too”

Statewide Coalition of Parents and Educators Calls on Lawmakers to Provide Critical Resources for Kids 

Denver, CO – Today, a coalition of school districts from across the state along with concerned parents and business owners have united to relaunch the Kids Matter Too campaign to address the ongoing severe lack of funding in K12 education. As communities continue to recover from the pandemic, the need for committed and talented teachers, workforce readiness programs, and access to mental health services in our schools has never been higher.  

At the same time Colorado schools have lost billions of dollars over the last several years resulting in large funding gaps. One-time pandemic relief funding will not make up for decades of budget cuts, and the Kids Matter Too coalition is calling on Colorado lawmakers to make long term, sustainable investments in our schools. 

“We will know our schools are fully funded when we can address family’s top priorities like increasing teacher pay, increasing support staff pay, decreasing class size, improving access to mental health care and other support services, strengthening career and technology curriculum, and more,” said Wendy Rubin, Superintendent of Englewood Schools. “We have kids that have spent their entirety of their education in severely underfunded schools. Colorado kids deserve better, and we need to prioritize our children’s future and remind lawmakers that kids matter too.” 

While Colorado’s public education system will receive a one-time injection of funding through the American Rescue Plan, there remains a $10 Billion funding shortage accumulated over more than a decade. Next year schools will once again be underfunded and be forced to make cuts to teacher pay, critical programs and services.  

“The pandemic was hard enough, and I am tired of watching our schools and our kids continue to struggle. Our classrooms are overcrowded, our teachers are overworked and underpaid, and our kids are paying the price,” said Charles Gilford III, a current parent of a student in Cherry Creek Schools and alumni. “Our kids are our future, and we need to invest in and plan for our future. We need to remind our lawmakers that kids matter too. Because if we don’t address this now, the collateral damage will ripple for generations to come.” 

Fortunately, the majority of Coloradans support increasing funding for K12 public education so we can invest in future generations. According to last year’s Colorado Public Education Survey, nearly 50% of Colorado voters don’t think that Colorado schools have the financial resources they need, 64% approve of re-allocating tax revenue to public education, and 63% of Colorado voters support a proposal that would increase K12 funding. 

This funding can be used to increase the pay of hardworking teachers to help keep them in the classroom, reduce class sizes, provide quality STEAM education as well as vocational education and career training that will prepare students for the workforce, and increase access to mental health services in schools. 

Please visit to learn more. 

News From the Campaign:

Colorado Sun: What does the future of Colorado school funding look like? Here are the questions hanging over districts.

Education advocates and district leaders say that they won’t know how individual districts will fare until they see the full details of McCluskie’s legislation. But some are worried. McCluskie has met with school district leaders in recent weeks after drafting at least three school funding proposals. One of her proposals sparked more questions than answers … Continued

CPR: State leaders celebrate end of school budget shortfalls but some districts worry about the future of funding

For many school districts across Colorado, much of this year’s legislative session has come with swells of emotion, starting with a long-awaited moment of celebration when lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis committed to funding districts to the level required by the state constitution for the first time since the Great Recession. Even while fulfilling that … Continued

CPR: Colorado educators call for change of a system ‘on the brink of crisis’

Years of school underfunding, an accountability system that erodes trust in educators, rising mental health issues in youth, and school violence are all playing into critical staffing shortages in Colorado’s schools. And educators are worried that other large, systemic issues connected to underfunding are hurting their students. That’s according to the annual State of Education … Continued