Business Lends Support to Statewide Out-of-School Learning Ballot Initiative

Colorado Succeeds members gathered in early May to discuss a proposed statewide ballot initiative meant to address student learning loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and set students up for long-term success: the Learning Enrichment Academic Program (LEAP).

Access to out-of-school learning has proven to bolster student success in school. However, students with fewer resources have far less access to these opportunities than their more affluent counterparts. During COVID-19, lower-income students were more likely to learn remotely, while also having less access to the technology needed to engage with educators successfully. As we seek to address learning loss and get students back on track, dozens of community leaders, educators, and policy advocates have come together to address this urgent challenge facing our state’s students and families.

LEAP would provide $1,500 per child for families to use for out-of-school learning like tutoring, summer programming, and extracurricular activities. All Colorado students would be eligible, but priority would go towards low-income students and students with the greatest educational needs. The proposed measure would be funded by an increase in recreational marijuana sales tax and revenue from agricultural, mineral, and renewable energy development on state land. LEAP would be the first of its kind in the nation and could serve as a model for other states to follow as they seek to address the learning challenges facing their students.

The Colorado Succeeds Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse this ballot measure, which has been filed with the state’s Legislative Council and has made its way through the title board. The next step is gathering signatures from thousands of Coloradans before it is placed on your ballot this November.

Leading this effort are two major partners of Colorado Succeeds: Gary Community Investments and RESCHOOL Colorado.

Mike Johnston, CEO at The Piton Foundation and Gary Community Investments, and Amy Anderson, Executive Director at RESCHOOL, joined the Colorado Succeeds member convening to provide an inside look at the proposed measure, answer questions, and provide insight on how business could lend its support.

Mike and Amy showcased how LEAP is an opportunity to create a more agile and responsive education system in Colorado by providing parents the resources they need to select learning opportunities that best meet the needs of their children. By shifting the power dynamic in our system in this way, students across Colorado would be provided access to the supplemental learning they need for academic recovery and come back stronger from a very challenging year. You can access a complete recording of the member meeting here.

Are you a business leader looking to make an impact by creating an agile education system that meets the needs of Colorado’s students, and ensure Colorado’s businesses have the homegrown talent they need to thrive? Contact us about membership.

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Ashley Andersen