Great Futures Celebrates 1st Birthday!

Happy Birthday Great Futures Coalition Colorado!

The Great Futures Coalition formed in January 2010 and is celebrating its first birthday as a Coalition of now 30 organizations. Great Futures is always expanding and looking to encompass more and more of the groups who understand the importance of a quality education for all of Colorado students from preschool through college.

Here’s a look at our “Top Ten” after just one year of existence:

  1. Together, we collected and delivered over 2,600 petition signatures to legislators including more than 1,000 stories documenting the impact of cuts on Colorado’s students and economy.
  2. Notable Quote from Don Beard, Superintendent of Pritchett School District (Member of Colorado Rural Schools Caucus) on why the Great Futures Coalition is important for Colorado: “The future of Colorado’s schools must be predicated on the need of all students, from the smallest single school community to the largest multi-school districts; all students must be provided a quality education.  Colorado can simply not afford anything less.”
  3. Great Futures called on the legislature to refer a Measure (DECIDE: Education Cuts or Invest in our Democracy and Economy) to the November 2010 ballot, so Colorado voters could have the opportunity to prevent even deeper cuts to Colorado’s schools, colleges and universities.  After thousands of emails, phone calls, and eloquent testimony from education supporters, DECIDE passed three Committees, but unfortunately failed to reach the Ballot.
  4. Great Futures garnered two extraordinary Opinion Pieces from the Greeley Tribune and Denver Post Editorial Boards, and over 30 media stories about cuts to education, the DECIDE measure, and its broad and diverse support.
  5. A Great Futures Guest Commentary made it to the pages of the Denver Post on the closing days of the 2010 Legislative Session.
  6. The Coalition submitted an Open Letter to Colorado Voters through the Media and using online tools, which was signed by hundreds of supporters declaring: “We, the undersigned, are parents and grandparents. We are Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters; businesspeople, clergy, professionals, students and educators; we are rural, urban, suburban, P-12 and higher ed.  We are the public education supporters of Colorado and we will not let another year pass without giving Colorado voters the opportunity to provide a better legacy for our children.”
  7. We launched our first Coalition video, showing the public the voices and faces of the Great Futures Coalition.
  8. In the Summer and Fall of 2010, Great Futures helped to defeat three anti-education ballot measures — Amendments 60 & 61, and Proposition 101 — with strong numbers.  We informed tens of thousands of Colorado voters about the realities of deep cuts to education, and the potential impact that the “Bad Three” could have had on Colorado’s students.
  9. In helping defeat 60, 61, and 101, the Coalition developed online outreach tools, and implemented a postcard voter contact program that harnessed over 6,000 volunteer hours to reach more than 40,000 voters two to three times each.
  10. Following the election, Great Futures convened over 50 preschool, K-12, and higher education groups to discuss how and what we need to do next in order to reinvest in our local schools, colleges, and universities moving forward.

Great Futures is looking ahead to more years of educating and advocating on the road to better investment in Colorado’s students.  We hope that your local community group will join the Coalition, and that you will stay informed about our work through bi-monthly news updates about education funding, that also provide easy ways to take action.