We oppose making Colorado’s public schools private or run by private corporations or becoming segregated again through lobbying and campaigning efforts of the organization called Democrats for Education Reform and demand that they immediately stop using the party’s name Democrat in their name.
We are Democrats and we’re not focused on intraparty drama driven by special interests.We are going to keep doing everything we can to make sure every child has access to a high-quality public education.
DFER-CO has been at the forefront of a long list of political and policy change in Colorado that includes the passage of SB 191 (changing teacher tenure and evaluation) and SB 213 (rewrite of school finance with more funding and reform) and recently supporting high school graduation based on proficiency. DFER-CO also supported a number of successful school district and legislative races over the last six years, including an undefeated 2016 cycle for Democrats in the state legislature. DFER-CO was also instrumental in turning the State Board of Education blue for the first time in 50 years, and for consistent victories for kids at the local school board level.
Delegates voted Saturday to call for the organization to no longer use “Democrats” in its name. While it’s unclear how that would be enforced, the vote means a rejection of DFER is now part of the Democratic Party platform. #Democrats is a dirty word.https://t.co/GO9F3QCPyk— Courageous Lady 🇺🇸 🐴 💥 (@ChamsPines) April 15, 2018
Democrats are the party of public education. Colorado Democrats believe that our state public education policies should
provide every student with an equal opportunity to reach their potential. Education is not only a basic right; it is also a
necessary component of a healthy democracy. Our students face a globally competitive economy and Democrats believe in
equal opportunity to prepare all students to solve the problems of tomorrow.
Modernizing Education in ColoradoColorado Democrats hold a vision for education that ensures all Colorado children receive a quality education and with schools
fully funded to achieve these ends, We support making education a top priority by calling for a statewide ballot measure to
amend the Colorado Constitution to codify that all children within the borders of the state receive a free public, uniform, and high quality education that prepares students for careers and higher education.
Preschool and K-12We demand full funding of a thorough and uniform education with public monies to public schools that are locally controlled.
We also demand increased funding for Preschool and K–12 education. This can be accomplished by repealing Article 10,
Section 20, of Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) and the Gallagher Amendment from the Colorado Constitution.To this end:
1. We support the adequate and equitable funding of public education in Colorado.
2. We oppose guns in school, more guns would make our schools less safe and but all students and staff at increased
risk of becoming a victim of gun violence.
3. We support the creation of a unified, comprehensive system of public education in Colorado.
4. We support increased funding for mental health, counseling services, and suicide prevention for all schools to meet
needs of all students.
5. We support restoration of education funding to pre-recession levels consistent with the intent of the voters under
6. We support efforts to build an adequate tax base for quality public education at all levels.
7. We support adequate funding for students with special needs.
8. We support adequate capital investment in our aging public school buildings.
9. We oppose unfunded federal and state mandates on our local school districts.
10. We oppose public funds being used to support private or religious schools, for-profit corporate education management
organizations or charter schools.
11. We believe that charter schools be held to the same standards that traditional K-12 schools.
12. We oppose vouchers and tuition tax credits for non-public PreK-12 education, which dilute funding from our already
underfunded public schools.
13. We support continued funding of school nutritious meal programs for children living in or near poverty.
14. We support the elimination of dark money from public school board elections and support establishing finance reforms
for these elected positions.Inclusivity and DiversityWe demand an education system which is inclusive of our diverse population. We oppose policies and practices that
discriminate and further widen the achievement and opportunity gaps.As Colorado Democrats:
1. We support policies and programs, which include, elevate, and honor all students regardless of English language
2. We support the integration of diverse communities into public schools.
3. We support diverse communities having principals, teachers, and paraprofessionals that reflect the student
4. We oppose any efforts or policies which lead to re-segregation of student populations.
5. We recognize the needs of special populations of students including medically, emotionally, physically or
developmentally disabled, English Language Learners, gifted/talented students and support programs of inclusion and
6. We support anti-bullying policies in schools.
7. We support lower class sizes for at-risk students, especially for homeless, ELL, and economically stressed children.
8. We oppose the criminalization of student behavior which can be managed by staff and family.
9. We support parental involvement in school activities and outreach programs, especially for poor and at risk and
vulnerable student populations.
10. We support adult education programs that afford career training and continuing education.Student Curriculum, Instruction, and EvaluationWe demand a rich, balanced curriculum, which acknowledges the importance of educating the whole child, and provides
effective instruction and meaningful evaluation.To this end:
1. We support a curriculum in all public schools, which recognizes the importance of all subjects including art, vocal and
instrumental music, physical education, reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, civics, history, foreign
language, theatre, vocational education, etc.
2. We support extracurricular activities, clubs, and athletics and enrichment classes as part of a well-rounded public
3. We support a curriculum, which prepares students with 21st century learning skills of critical thinking, problem-solving,
creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
4. We support a curriculum that strives for authentic teaching and learning and oppose the use of a scripted curriculum
which “teaches to a standardized high-stakes test”.
5. We oppose excessive standardized testing, and especially any corporate driven, state mandated curriculum or high
stakes teacher or student measurement tool which is not research-based, scientifically supported, and/or recognized
by the academic community. One-size-fits-all schooling leads to standardization and conformity, which undermines
the qualities required of an empowered and engaged citizenry.
6. We support early childhood education (preschool and full-day kindergarten) opportunities as the best investment for a
child’s future school success.
7. We support evidence-based intervention strategies for struggling students, drop-outs, and low-performing schools and
oppose efforts to impose strategies that have no proven track record of success.
8. We support vocational, career, and technical training and post-secondary programs for high school students.
9. We support diverse learning styles, multiple measurements of achievement and evaluation tools, and multiple
pathways to success.
10. We support the decoupling of student test scores from teacher evaluation and compensation.
11. We oppose pay-for-performance, or merit-based pay.
12. We support NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) as a reliable and sufficient data source. It is a
government run and non-profit endeavor that has been used in every state for years and has been verified for validity
and reliability through multiple independent reviews and should suffice for national, state, and local education
agencies students’ academic performance and accountability.
13. In light of breaches of student data, we advocate for student privacy rights that reflect ethical, lawful, and responsible
security of student data.
14. We oppose the monetization of student data and support legislation which prohibits student data exchanged for
services, benefit, or for profit in any way.
15. We oppose for-profit training programs oriented towards factory model education and the practice of placing
inexperienced and non-credentialed teachers in low-performing, high needs schools with hard to serve students.Educator RightsWe demand fair wages and benefits, safe working conditions, and legal rights for all public school educators.To this end:1. We support rights of teachers form and join unions, including teachers of charter schools.
2. We support due process and believe it should not be weakened to address complaints against teachers.
3. We support a livable professional wage, safe and supportive working conditions, and adequate benefits for all
educators and the educators’ right to organize.
4. We support fair and equitable recruitment, retention, licensing and hiring practices of teachers and leaders for all
5. We support the fair evaluation of educators using multiple, comprehensive measurements.
6. We support licensed, effective teachers in all public school classrooms.
7. We support efforts to eliminate the educator equity gap, which is the practice of placing inexperienced,
underperforming, ineffective, or less qualified teachers and leaders in low-performing, high-needs schools.
8. We support academic freedom and believe that no educator should fear reprisal for exercising their constitutional
9. We support providing teachers with better tools, administrative support and procedures to handle disruptive behavior.Higher EducationWe support providing access to affordable high quality public higher education for all residents of the state. We demand
increased state funding of Colorado’s public colleges and universities.As Colorado Democrats:1. We support free public higher education for all students.
2. We support our undocumented students and demand that the federal government follow Colorado’s efforts to provide
in-state tuition and financial aid to undocumented high school graduates with the opportunity to attend a state college
3. We oppose tuition increases that reduce access and affordability to a higher education.
4. We oppose further cuts to student financial aid, such as student loans, work-study programs, scholarships, and Pell
grants, which restrict students’ access to colleges or universities.
5. We support fair and equitable compensation for adjunct and part-time faculty at our public colleges and universities.
6. We support the rights of graduate students and student athletes to unionize as employees for equitable treatment and
7. We support funding for merit scholarships for highly qualified students from Colorado to encourage them to attend
universities and colleges in Colorado.
8. We support increased state funding of Colorado’s higher education institutions.
9. We support vocational training programs in Green Energy Technologies, Information Technology, and other skills that
will be needed in the 21st century economy for those who choose not to pursue a college degree.
10. We support restoration of statutes of limitations and bankruptcy protection on student loan debt. We insist that
congress structure loans and/or provide statute of limitations to alleviate college debt, and/or at the minimum reduce
high interest rates on students and make student loan interest rates comparable to what most banks pay.
11. We support and must make STEM education more accessible for women and minority students.
12. We support allowing individuals convicted of non-violent felonies to apply for and have the ability to receive student