Let’s start from a place everyone can agree on: every child deserves access to a great education.
They need to learn to read, write and calculate. Colorado law says they must learn reading, writing, speaking, math, history, civics, literature, science, and the U.S. Constitution. Not many people dispute the need for these subjects.
The way we go about educating our kids in Colorado runs the gamut – homeschool, charter, private, parochial and public institutions are all choices given to parents.
Colorado has always been known to be a “homeschool-friendly” state and many options are available for homeschool kids to participate in sports and enrichment programs up and down the Front Range.
Colorado was also the third state to approve charter schools back in 1993 and four of the top five high schools in the state are charter schools.
Regardless of which type of schooling you lean towards, the great news for Colorado parents is that education is a priority for our newly-minted Governor Elect Jared Polis. He founded charter schools in Colorado and served on the State Board of Education from 2000-2007.
In a move that might surprise you, Polis, a Democrat, has included one of the most respected members of Colorado’s educational community, on his transition team, former US Congressman Bob Schaffer, who is currently the headmaster at Liberty Common High School in Fort Collins. Schaffer previously served on the State Board of Education with Polis.
What’s the big deal? Schaffer is a Republican.
Because we can no longer go 5 minutes without something getting political, Polis is already under fire for hiring what some have called “anti-public education officials” including Schaffer. As you can see from above, Polis appears to be a huge supporter of all forms of education.
His choice of a bipartisan team for crafting education policy is something he spoke about long before he was the governor. Now he’s making that team a reality, so this should not be a surprise to anyone.
Polis does have an education plan he spoke about on the campaign trail: “And that’s why as governor, one of my top priorities is establishing free, full-day preschool and kindergarten to every community across our state. Oklahoma has done this successfully. So can we.”
Not everyone will agree with this “end-to-end” plan to have our kids in public schools from the time they are 3 or 4 years old.
You can choose to keep your kids home with you. You can choose to send them to private school or choice into a charter. You can always choose to send them to the neighborhood public school.
At least for now, we still have that choice. And our freedom of choice preserves our rights as parents and that is something we can all agree is a good thing.
What are your thoughts?
Is it wrong to bring together different perspectives when creating policies that affect the whole state? Why would anyone oppose such a thing?
Take a look at more resources about education here, and please let us know your thoughts on Facebook!