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Teachers and schools are two important factors in how a child grows up. But with Colorado's education spending at the bottom of the national barrel, can we say our state takes to heart its importance?

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Heidi Solis of Old Colorado City is a stay-at-home mom

What do you think is the biggest threat to K-12 education? The biggest threat is the expectation that teachers are going to do everything, and also the funding — the lack of funding. The expectation [is] that the teachers will do everything to these children, and that these parents don't have a part in it. They just drop the kids off at school, and the teachers take over.

Do you think education today is as good as it was 20 years ago? I think in certain areas, it is as good as it was. I wish that there were equal funding for all school districts, that it was level.

Would you support paying more taxes specifically to support education? Yeah, I would definitely support it, because it is preparation for the future. And, I guess, the vitality of our nation and the success that we have, it really depends on education.

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Jennifer Nuno of Massachusetts is a stay-at-home mom

What's the biggest threat to K-12 education? It's parental involvement, lack of parental involvement.

What do you think about the argument that you need good schools to attract a good workforce? Well, what do I think about it? How about you look at [Academy] District 20 — like, everybody that moves north to get their kids into District 20? ... I think people try to do what's best for their kids and find the best school that they can find where they are.

Would you support paying more taxes specifically to support education? Well, yeah. It's one of the most important jobs there is. They don't pay teachers anything. We expect our teachers to raise our kids, educate them. They spend more time with most people's kids than the parents do. If we paid more, I think we'd attract a higher quality in the workforce of education, public education.

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Ryan Gall from Pierz, Minn., is a Colorado College student

Do you think education today is as good as it was 20 years ago? Well, I don't know because I don't know what the education system was like 20 years ago. Actually, well, considering the education that my parents received and the education I've received at the high school level, my high school education was much better than my parents'.

What do you think is the biggest threat to K-12 education? I don't know. Probably funding ... I don't know how much money is flowing around freely for extra activities like art and music and those subjects and things that help make a broadened or better individual.

Would you support paying more taxes specifically to support education? Of course, I'm not exactly a taxpayer myself yet, but when the time comes, and I'm making big bucks, I wouldn't mind, you know, giving some to help some.

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