Colorado Commits to Kids launches its statewide campaign with help from Gov. Hickenlooper

CONTACT: Abby Leeper
(402) 681-7980

LAKEWOOD, CO –Gov. John Hickenlooper joined state business, education and community leaders Thursday to commit to creating a better Colorado as the Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative launched its statewide campaign at Green Mountain High School in Jefferson County.

“Every kid deserves a great education, but that education should not depend on their hometown or their background,” Hickenlooper said. “We can provide everything necessary for a Colorado student to succeed except the drive to do so. Drive, as we all know, is up to them.”

The Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative is asking voters to fund education reforms with an increase in state income-taxes.

“This is a proposal that keeps Colorado’s tax rate competitive with other states while providing substantial return on investment,” Hickenlooper added. “If we’re successful, it won’t just benefit the students who graduate ready to join the workforce or go on to college, the measure will benefit the entire state by creating a better workforce for new and existing businesses. It’s about creating a better Colorado for future generations.”

Colorado Commits to Kids needed 86,105 signatures to qualify for this fall’s ballot, and turned in more than 160,000 on Aug. 5. The Secretary of State’s Office has 30 days to determine whether Colorado Commits to Kids collected the requisite number of signatures to qualify for the November ballot.

“This initiative, Colorado Commits to Kids, is going to make Colorado the number one state in the country for education reform—and education results. We are going to build a school finance system that is transparent, equitable and fair. And with these dollars, we’ll be able to advocate for change,” said State Sen. Mike Johnston.

“As a small business owner, and a Latino, I know to achieve long-term economic success, no investment is more important than education. While we recognize it as a prerequisite for achieving the American Dream, increasing high school graduation, college enrollment, and college completion rates remains among our state’s greatest challenges. Not only will greater educational attainment mean higher lifetime salaries and an improved standard of living for thousands of families, but it is critical for the future economic competitiveness of our state,” said Mike Furrifino, general manager of KBNO Radio and a board member with the Colorado Children’s Campaign.

“This initiative makes important investments in our public education system,” said Lt. Gov. Joe Garcia, who also serves as executive director of the state Department of Higher Education. “Not only does it increase our investment in early childhood education, it will also help Colorado do a better job of graduating kids from high school who are ready to join the workforce or continue on into our higher education system.”

About the Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative:

The Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative will ask voters to approve a two-step state income-tax rate increase to pay for reforms that would make Colorado a national model for P-12 education.

Step 1: On taxable income up to $75,000, the rate would increase from 4.63% to 5%

Step 2: Any taxable income above $75,000 would be taxed at a rate of 5.9%

NOTE: Every taxpayer would pay the 5% rate on their first $75,000 of income

What would people pay under the Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative?

Gross Income

New tax per week estimate

New tax per year estimate


Taxable Income**

New tax per week estimate

New tax per year estimate




































*Median household income in Colorado, according to the U.S. Census Bureau
**People can find their previous year’s taxable income on line 18 on their Colorado Individual Income Tax Form

The Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative will modernize Colorado’s P-12 system by:

  • Strengthening early childhood education by investing in preschool and full-day kindergarten;
  • Ensuring Colorado kids have a great teacher in every classroom and a great principal in every school;
  • Reducing class sizes to offer more one-on-one time between students and teachers;
  • Increasing support for gifted and talented students, at-risk students, and English-language learners;
  • And providing equal funding to charter schools and district schools, ensuring that students receive the same support no matter the type of school they attend.

Money from the Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative will be placed in the State Education Achievement Fund and can only be used for education reforms and enhancements to existing programs.

The Colorado Commits to Kids Initiative also contains unprecedented accountability and transparency measures. If passed, the state will be required to conduct regular reports to assess the cost of our public education system and the effectiveness of our funding efforts in improving student achievement. The initiative will also establish a state-maintained budget transparency system to allow taxpayers to track spending at every school in the state.


Sign Up