The Western Colorado University Board of Trustees endorsed voting in favor of Proposition CC on Oct. 3. This ballot measure states that all excess tax revenue the state receives over its revenue limit will be equally allocated among three initiatives: improving public schools, supporting higher education institutions and repairing roadway infrastructure. If passed on a state level, this measure could result in over $300 million in extra funding for the state of Colorado for the 2019-20 fiscal year without raising taxes for taxpayers.
The board chose to endorse Proposition CC in the hope that Western would see a direct, beneficial impact of the new legislation. If it is passed, additional state funding for Western could help to increase both student retention and graduation rates. Additionally, increased funding would also make it possible for Western to reduce the costs of attendance and allow for supplementary resources to be contributed to student success programs. Both of these benefits would lead to increased overall student performance, well-being and job readiness.
“Prop CC will allow the state to invest in education and transportation without raising taxes when the economy is strong,” said Dr. Greg Salsbury, Western’s president. “Our board endorsed this measure because it will be good for Western, Gunnison and Colorado.”
The beneficial outcomes of this ballot measure would span beyond the walls of Western if it is passed. Additional funding for Colorado would allow the state to enhance educational opportunities in the K-12 public school system to build upon an already steadily growing talent pipeline and potentially increase the number of students who seek out a post-secondary education. Moreover, these funds could make education more accessible for underserved populations, thereby increasing the number of qualified and skilled workers within the state to strengthen the overall economy. As a final, but important potential benefit, passage of Prop CC would also help Western and the state of Colorado to remain competitive in the complex national economy.
As Tuesday, Nov. 5, voting day, approaches, the Western Board of Trustees continues to work to provide an excellent and equitable education through their oversight of the university and support of various legislative policies. Their resolve to endorse Proposition CC exemplifies their support of and commitment to students, Western and the state of Colorado.