OPINION: Why should you care about Colorado’s governors’ race?


Photo of Jared Polis (right) by Evan Semón. Photo of Walker Stapleton (left) by Corey Hutchins.



The gubernatorial election takes place every four years and advertisements for candidates bombard your television. You most likely have been inclined to skip over or ignore these advertisements, feeling that the issues being raised are “adult problems”. Topics on each candidate’s platform, however, do have a direct effect on our quality of education. So, what exactly are each of the main candidates’ thoughts on what is best for Colorado?  

This year, Colorado’s two leading party candidates for governor are Jared Polis (Democrat) and Walker Stapleton (Republican). While they agree that changes need to be made to better Colorado’s educational system, each of their policies would benefit education differently. Jared Polis plans to focus on competitive pay for teachers as a way to increase the quality of education in public schools, while Walker Stapleton intends to increase access to choice schools, expecting this will lead to increased funding for charter schools, thus giving parents more choices for choosing the learning environment that is best for their children.

According to a poll by Colorado Succeeds, Jared Polis argues that “there is no reason that Colorado schools should be shortchanged in their funding at a time when our economy is one of the strongest in the nation”. Polis believes that funding for our public schools should not be as low as it is because our economy is currently thriving. Polis also feels that, while students should have the freedom to choose their school, increased funding for classrooms and better teachers in public schools should be the primary focus.

On the other hand, Walker Stapleton says we need to “Increase access to school choice… Be it public, charter, private or homeschool… [and] empower parents to find the best fit for their children to succeed”. He feels that providing more options for students to learn will better allow all students to succeed in the learning environment that best fits them. While he still intends to increase funding for public schools, his focus is on the importance of school choice for Colorado children and parents.

Jared Polis and Walker Stapleton are both campaigning for positive change for Colorado’s public education system. While they share a common goal, their proposed solutions are very different. 

As teenagers and young adults, our opinion on this issue will make a difference. We owe it to ourselves to be informed about the candidates representing us and what policies they bring to the table. For more information on the candidates for Colorado Governor and what it means for our school system if they’re elected, please visit; https://coloradosucceeds.org/best-schools/candidate-survey/