Around this time last year, Coloradans had a unique opportunity to decide whether or not they wanted to get a refund or allow the state to keep excess tax revenue that came from the cannabis industry. Proposition BB was introduced when Colorado’s cannabis industry far exceeded the estimated revenue for the year – and Colorado law says when tax revenues go over the estimate, the state gets to decide what to do with it and are actually allowed to ask for that extra money back in the form of a refund. Luckily for Colorado schools, the voters were more than happy to allow the state to keep the money – as long as it was going to the students.
Now that those funds are about to be dispersed, they have announced their plans on what to do with the excess funding – it will be going to bullying prevention programs. Bullying is a huge problem in schools, that’s nothing new, but it seems to get worse and worse and not enough can or has been done to prevent it. Colorado is now taking steps to be progressive in these matters by allocating $2.9 million dollars, to be broken down into $40,000 grants, which will be given to 50 schools throughout the state to make these anti-bullying programs possible.
“It’s a lot of money,” Dr. Adam Collins, bullying prevention and education grant coordinator for the CDE, told Denver7. “It’s a great opportunity for schools to apply and make sure the social and emotional wellness of their students is taken care of.”
The funds – totaling $66 million for education alone – will be given out in January; however, the grants for the bullying prevention programs will be awarded and winning schools will be announced by December 30th. Schools who hope to receive one of these grants will need to have their applications to the state by October 21st. In the entire country, Colorado is the only state to be able to provide this kind of funding in efforts to minimize, or even possibly eliminate, bullying in schools.
Clearly, the cannabis industry in Colorado is doing so well that it is able to far exceed the original expectations – allowing funding for things that would have only been talked of a few years earlier. Over the last few decades schools have been subject to some of the worst budget cuts – and it absolutely has an effect on our students’ overall ability to learn effectively. So seeing Colorado being able to provide funding for so many areas when it comes to schools, students and education, is simply amazing. Hopefully other states will see their success and take that into consideration when voting this fall, or the next time they are asked to sign a petition.