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Group Pitches Funding Early Childhood Education With Tax Increase

May 13, 2019

A chart from the Rocky Mountain Preschool Coalition shows the gap between the number of 3-5-year-olds in the region, compared to the spaces available in preschool programs.
Credit Rocky Mountain Preschool Coalition

On Tuesday, Basalt hears from a group trying to solve one of the toughest problems facing the Roaring Fork Valley: affordable and accessible early childhood education.

 

They're proposing a special tax district from Aspen to Parachute to fund preschool for all kids.  

 

 


The Rocky Mountain Preschool Coalition points to evidence that quality early childhood education makes students more likely to attend college and earn more later in life. However, Colorado is the second most expensive state when it comes to preschool. In the Roaring Fork Valley, it’s also hard to find; there are more 3 to 5-year-olds than space available.

The Rocky Mountain Preschool Coalition is made up of representatives from local school districts, businesses and nonprofits.

Cindy Kahn, executive director of Manaus, the nonprofit that’s heading up the coalition, says there’s support for a valley-wide preschool program. It would cost $2.59 million a year, and could be funded by a sales or property tax increase.  

Roaring Fork School District superintendent Rob Stein, a member of the coalition, presents to the Basalt town council Tuesday at 5:15 p.m.  This is one of several meetings with local governments.