Measure would give up to $1,500 per student to families for out-of-school learning.
DENVER, COLORADO – Colorado Succeeds, a nonpartisan coalition of business leaders
dedicated to improving the state’s education system, joins dozens of community leaders, educators, and policy advocates in supporting the proposed Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress (LEAP) program ballot initiative. The measure seeks to close gaps in K-12 educational achievement by providing up to $1,500 per child to families to be used for out-of-school instruction opportunities.
A 2013 national study found that the gap between the amount of spending between low-income and affluent families on out-of-school enrichment opportunities to be roughly $6,000 per year – three times wider than it was in the 1970s. Similarly, research conducted in 2018 by the University of Washington found that access to out-of-school summer programs in the Denver metro area was very unequal, particularly with respect to race, ethnicity, and household income. During COVID-19, families with fewer resources have continued to have less access to opportunities to supplement their children’s education, despite critical need.
To help students recover from COVID-19 learning loss and address inequities already present in our education system, the proposed LEAP program would provide financial aid for supplemental out-of-school learning for students, like tutoring, afterschool enrichment, and additional special education support. All Colorado students would be eligible, and priority would go towards low-income students and students with the
greatest educational needs. The proposed measure would be funded by a 5% sales tax increase on recreational marijuana and revenue from agricultural, mineral, and renewable energy development on state land.
“We know that access to out-of-school learning bolsters student success in school,” said Scott Laband, president of Colorado Succeeds. “COVID-19 has made the challenges facing low-income students even greater, and those impacts will last a lifetime unless Colorado provides families with the resources they need to get their students caught up and prepared for long-term success.”
“Through LEAP, Colorado has the opportunity to support students and families, take some pressure off of our educators that are working incredibly hard to address all student needs during COVID-19, and lay the groundwork for a strong economy by ensuring our kids are better prepared for future careers and success in life” said Linda Peotter, co-chair of Colorado Succeeds and founder of the Metal Trading Company.
About Colorado Succeeds: Colorado Succeeds is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that brings business leaders across the state together to ensure all of Colorado’s children are educated to their greatest potential. Learn more at coloradosucceeds.org.
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