Sen. Nancy Todd: Partisan politics cheats Colorado kids out of scholarships

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All across Colorado, we have students who beat the odds. When a bad neighborhood makes the walk to school unpredictable, or when a family is struggling to pay the bills, an education quickly falls to the bottom of priorities and survival rises to the top. When a student rises above these challenges in the classroom, our state should empower them to continue their learning and see college as a real possibility.

State Sen. Nancy ToddWe all know the old adage: Knowledge is power. From the moment a child enters into school, they are faced with a barrage of information. From mathematics and the history of the world, to chemical reactions and literacy skills, we all know how important these subjects are to raising great kids. We also know that to get by in life, a whole set of necessary life skills are all too often ignored in the classroom: how to manage money.

That’s why I introduced a bill into the Colorado General Assembly that would not only help to provide merit-based state scholarships to our highest achieving students, but would also ensure that financial literacy classes in our public schools include how student loans and financial aid programs work, and the dangers of defaulting on a student loan.

Just as we expect our schools to give our students the tools they need to pursue their dreams in whatever field they choose, we should also back them up with the information they need to make that possible. And for our highest achieving students facing financial struggles, providing merit-based scholarships makes it just a little bit easier for them to go to college.

After so many of us felt left behind after the Great Recession, Colorado has been fortunate to have an economy that rebounded so strongly. Too many families are still not feeling the impact of the economic recovery. One of the hardest things a struggling parent can be faced with is how to find those extra dollars in the family’s budget to help their son or daughter pay for college.

Merit-based scholarships not only make it easier for a student to see college as a viable option, but they also provide an incentive for them to perform at the highest levels possible. Coloradans have never balked from a challenge, and we should reward students who honor that tradition and build on their talents or skills to further their education.

Unfortunately, my bill was voted down by a party-line vote in the Senate Education Committee. Like you, I believe that politics should have no role in the education of our students. Our kids deserve all the support we can give, and I won’t stop working to make sure that every child has access to a world-class education, and also to the tools they need to be successful in pursuing their dreams whether in the classroom or outside of it.

State Sen. Nancy Todd is an Aurora Democrat and former teacher representing state Senate District 28.

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Kevin
Kevin
7 years ago

I don’t know, this is just a thought, but how about trying to work from the other direction? Like legislation that would help REDUCE the cost of college? Instead of these $1M coaches salaries, on down, let’s look at the quality of professors and pay them accordingly? In my daughters first two years, she never saw the “professor” after the first week. We’re all paying for a high priced education delivered by a teacher’s assistant. By doing this, you can open up college educations for more people and require less government funds, of which you are perpetually short!

Mike846
Mike846
7 years ago

I see nothing in the draft bill that specifically requires recipients to be American citizens. Also,money may be allocated based on “need (who decides who needs it?), merit (who deterimines THAT?) talent (what the hell does THAT mean?) or other criteria established by the commission.” So you asked for a blank check of $5 million without restricting it to American citizens and with an open-ended criteria for the commission to use. No wonder the Republicans voted it down. Another “feel good” liberal bill, mainly designed to make it look like the opposition party is mean-spirited and against “the kids”. Anytime I hear a Democrat teling me it’s “about the kids”, one thing I know for sure is that it has nothing to do with the kids.

Oz
Oz
7 years ago
Reply to  Mike846

Your comment just adds fuel to the fire, and proves the very problem Nancy Todd is concerned about. A generalization like yours, which indicate that Democrats are never ‘about the kids’ is incorrect. I support neither party, but the fact that this bill being voted down by a party line vote is very concerning. When it comes to kids and their education, there should be no party lines.

Joneen Mackenzie RN, BSN CPSII
Joneen Mackenzie RN, BSN CPSII
7 years ago

How about we help parents send their own kids to college by limiting government and setting the private sector free to increase jobs and wages? Most government programs end up limiting individuals because of the tremendous tax burden punishing achievers.Also, poverty prevention programs would be awesome too. Increasing family formation prior to childbearing is the fastest way to enter the poverty cycle (according to many data sets from many different academicians) putting a child in a pattern of deficit. This would help education, economics, father absence, violence, crime, drug and alcohol use as well as many other social issues that the taxpayer is always asked to fund. Let’s look for root causes and solve the problems there,