The spending lobby at the State Capitol is shameless in its clamoring for higher taxes on Colorado’s families and businesses. The latest chorus of woe comes from the ivory tower of academia.
Colorado’s public four-year institutions enroll some 175,000 students and employee about 25,000 staff. Yet during the past seven years, these same schools have added nearly as many employees (3,537) as students (3,664). That’s right: enrollment grew by just 2% but the number of employees increased by 17% during a period of supposed budget austerity.
Lumping K-12 schools into the same complaint merely employs the tired tactic of using school children as a ploy to bolster spending elsewhere. Arguments that K-12 schools are shortchanged carry far more weight than cries of poverty from denizens of the ivory tower who supplement taxpayer funds with students’ tuition.
Consider some key figures measuring growth in Colorado’s economy and state budget since 2010:
- Population, up 10%.
- Personal income, up 33%.
- General fund spending, up 49%.
- Total state spending, up 35%.
- K-12 general fund spending, up just 16%.
- Higher education general fund, up 103%; total spending, up 55%.