By Harry Budisidharta, Mile High JACL
On Wed. October 30, Mile High JACL organized a non-partisan forum regarding Amendment 66. The forum was co-sponsored by Asian Pacific Development Center and Asian Chamber of Commerce.
Amendment 66 asked for a $950 million tax increase to implement school reform and change the way Colorado distributes money to all of its school districts.
The new law would have also changed the way the state calculates student enrollment and channel more money toward early childhood education, at-risk students, English-language learners, and charter schools.
Opponents of the amendment argued that the tax increase would be detrimental to the local economy and that there is no guarantee that the additional money would actually improve student performance.
Senator Michael Johnston, the drafter of Amendment 66, attended the forum and spoke in support of the amendment. Helen Raleigh, a local financial analyst, spoke against the Amendment.
The forum was moderated by Harry Budisidharta, president of Mile High JACL, and Gil Asakawa, board member of Mile High JACL. It was attended by approximately 20 people representing leaders of various AAPI communities in Colorado.
Ultimately, Amendment 66 was defeated at the poll with 65 percent of votes being against the amendment.