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WPS Board Supports Ballot Measure to Fund Preschools

Preschool student in WPS

In a unanimous vote, the Westminster Public Schools Board of Education passed a resolution in support of Proposition EE on the November ballot to raise money to fund universal preschool programs for Colorado four-year-olds.

Proposition EE would provide $2 billion over ten years through the taxation of tobacco and vape products.

“We know the earlier we get these kiddos the better,” said board member Ken Ciancio, who introduced the resolution. “We can educate them and we know they stay in the system longer.”

For more than a decade, WPS has funded full-day kindergarten and has worked to support the expansion of preschool programs across the district. WPS was part of a landmark study and pilot program to research the benefits of full-day preschool.

According to the resolution, Colorado does not currently tax vape products despite the fact that the state has one of the highest teen vaping rates in the country. In addition to additional dollars for preschool, proposition EE would provide more than $100 million for tobacco-vape cessation and public health programs.

By supporting the measure, WPS joins a long list of organizations endorsing the tax hike. Among them, the Colorado Education Association, the American Heart Association and the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce.

Below is an analysis of the tax impact from Colorado Public Radio:

Vaping product taxes would start at 30 percent of the manufacturer’s price and eventually rise to 62 percent. The tax on cigarettes would ramp up from $0.84 a pack today to $2.64 a pack by 2027. Taxes on other tobacco products would grow from 40 percent today to 62 percent by 2027. The minimum price for cigarettes would be set at $7 per pack beginning in 2024.