Denver Council To Decide On College Scholarship Fund

August 24, 2015

A measure that would help local students pay for college will be in front of the Denver City Council Monday. Council members will vote on whether to place the question on the November ballot.

The measure would be paid for by a small sales tax increase -- 8 cents on every $100 spent. That would generate about $10 million for scholarship organizations. 

Scholarships would be need-based and capped at $4,000 per year. Only 43 percent of Denver residents 25 years and older have a bachelor’s degree or higher.

"We fund education in this state at the bottom of the list across this country," said Councilmember Jolon Clark. "In my estimation, we’re failing our kids."

Councilmember Robin Kniech though, is worried that if voters pass the measure, it will weaken their appetite for future sales tax hikes for items like fixing sidewalks. 

"This is a priority, but it may not be the most immediate and direct," Kniech said.

After the measure’s first debate last Monday, councilmembers advanced it on a nine to two vote.