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Truth Test: So about Polis’ push for universal kindergarten...

Jared Polis, who's running for governor, is trying to sell you on the idea that he's the guy to make universal pre-school and kindergarten happen.
Truth Test: About Polis' push for universal kindergarten...

KUSA — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis cut an ad featuring his son arguing that childcare is really expensive.

If you aren't sure how true that is, find a parent and ask.

Polis is trying to sell you on the idea that he's the guy to fix that.

CLAIM: “I'm running on a platform of bringing universal full-day pre-school and Kindergarten to every child in this state.”


It's true that this is part of Polis' platform. Candidates get to decide what they want to stand for.

But what does that mean, exactly?

This is where more context helps, because a vote for Jared Polis doesn't mean he can just up and do all this.

For starters, we already have a governor who supports full-day kindergarten.

Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) even signed a bill to offer it to every child in the state. But the voters rejected the plan to pay for it in 2013.

It wasn't close. Almost two-thirds voted against a state income tax increase in 2013.

Amendment 66 would have paid for full-day Kindergarten and a bunch of other increases to public school funding.

Republican candidates are campaigning on helping to defeat that measure.

In the five years since, the state legislature ran nine different bills to pay for more full-day Kindergarten. All nine of them died.

The point is-- much like the sandwich Polis makes for his child in the ad, the ideas of a governor aren't automatically "in the bag."


13 states (primarily in the South) and Washington, D.C. provide full-day kindergarten to all students as part of their public school systems.

The Colorado state legislature’s analysts figure it’d cost about $223 million per year to pay for full-day kindergarten for all.

They do not have a current official estimate for preschool, but it’s reasonable to expect that cost to be somewhere in the same ballpark since the state currently provides both preschool and full-day kindergarten to similar groups of “at-risk” students.

The Polis campaign isn’t advocating any one specific funding plan to expand these services, but wants to make the issue a priority.


The same thing we tell you every presidential race applies at the state level: Governors can push for things, but they don't have the power to do anything they want.

Big changes take the legislature (and if they come with big price tags, sometimes a vote of the people) to get done in Colorado.

By all means, you should choose candidates who argue for the things you believe in.

Just make sure you're clear about what it takes to actually get them done.

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