Colorado to Use $10 Million from Marijuana Taxes to Pay Teachers

We all know that legalizing recreational marijuana in states across the America has been tremendously successful and generated millions of dollars in additional revenue for governments. And now Colorado has announced the latest people to benefit from cannabis money: teachers.

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper introduced his proposal for the 2018-19 budget, and included $10 million to hire and retain teachers in the state using marijuana tax money. There are apparently more than 3,000 teacher positions throughout Colorado that have not been filled, particularly in rural areas and some of which have been vacant for years. This $10 million will help find qualified people to take those positions.

"We anticipate a significant focus on the challenges rural communities face in attracting, retaining and developing the qualified teachers needed to support positive student outcomes,” the budget proposal states.

Not all of the $10 million will be used to fill those vacant positions, so the Colorado Department of Education is working with Hickenlooper's office to figure out what to do with the rest of the money. Some proposals include salary hikes for teachers, improved training throughout the state and an expedited licensing system for educators. 

The $10 million for the proposal is coming from the Colorado Marijuana Tax Cash Fund. All sales tax from marijuana purchases is collected into the fund and then distributed by the state.

So the next time a teacher catches a student smoking a joint, they can say, "Hey, this joint paid your salary!" And that will at least be partly true.

(h/t Denver Post)


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