DENVER – Although he was only on the State Board of Education for one term, Jared Polis raised application fees on teachers three times.
Just five months into his six-year term, Polis approved his first fee increase and continued to vote routinely to increase fees on new teachers and substitute teachers. A later increase, during Polis’ brief tenure as chairman of the board, increased fees for teachers and substitute teachers by 16 percent and eight percent, respectively, in a single fiscal year, a move that continues to cost Colorado’s educators nearly $2 million annually.
These increasing expenses have made it even more difficult for educators to simply apply for a job in Colorado.
Polis, a self-described supporter of funding for public education, authorized so many fee increases for teacher licensure applications and one-year substitute applications that costs increased by 66.6% over a four-year period. An agenda from a 2006 Board of Education meeting noted that the fees would net the government nearly $2 million per year.
“Polis’ political career began with the State Board of Education and, during his tenure, he raised rates by two-thirds, taking money directly out of the pockets of our public school teachers,” said Adam Johnson. “We already have a difficult road ahead to solve our state’s troubling teacher shortage and funding problems – why would Jared Polis want to make it even harder for Colorado teachers to stay above water?”
Polis may claim to be a supporter of public education and teacher pay in Colorado, but his actions tell a different story. Colorado’s hard-working educators deserve an advocate in the Governor’s office, not a bureaucrat who skims their paychecks.