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Colorado Amendment 66: Is it right for schools?

Mail-in ballots on their way to voters this week carry a question with far-reaching impact on the way Coloradans tax themselves and spend money on education.

Amendment 66 asks for a $950 million tax increase to fund a recently passed law, Senate Bill 213, that would implement school reform and change the way the state distributes dollars to its 178 school districts.

The new law touches on many aspects of school finance, starting with changing the way the state counts student enrollment. It also intends to channel more money toward early-childhood education, at-risk students, English-language learners, charter schools and locally determined innovations such as longer school days and years.

Advocates frame the tax increase as a crucial investment in education that will vault Colorado into a position as a national leader in reform.