Bob on the Issues

Why Senator Bob Gardner for Senate District 12

Bob Leads Republican Caucus to FIGHT for your Children’s Education

Share your comments and concerns with Bob at votebobgardner@gmail.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2020
 
Governor Jared Polis
200 East Colfax Avenue
Denver, CO 80203
 
Dear Governor Polis:
 
We write today respectfully requesting you call a special session of the Colorado General Assembly for the purpose of addressing the serious challenges facing our State’s K-12 students and parents in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. The special session should be limited to developing innovative policies that ensure every child has access to a high quality education, regardless of their unique health circumstances, age, or income level.
 
As the school year rapidly approaches, tens of thousands of parents throughout Colorado have entreated us to take action both to ensure the health and safety of their children and to prevent them from falling behind in their education as we deal with this unprecedented crisis. Parents need concrete, actionable, and flexible options for the 2020 – 2021 school year. Kids get one chance to receive a quality education, so we urge you to take immediate action to prevent lifetime damage to Colorado’s children.
 
The Colorado Department of Education has published guidelines for school districts to use in their decision making, and our school districts have expressed a variety of intentions from beginning classes with social distancing to conducting classes through online and virtual classrooms, if at all. Over 30,000 Coloradans have signed a petition pleading for a safe return to in-person learning in school this fall. At the same time, our largest school employee union and its local constituent associations have asserted that they will not return to teach unless further precautions are taken. Many parents are both uncertain and fearful — fearful both as to their children’s health and to the quality and continuity of their education.
 
In the face of these mixed messages and uncertainty, parents have implored us to take action to give them the freedom to choose what is best for their children and to do so in a way that they can manage and afford. Some groups of families have proposed plans to hire a teacher to collectively supervise their children’s online learning enabling them to return to work. Others have indicated that they would home school if only they had the economic circumstances allowing them to do so. At the same time, many from the most challenging economic circumstances, single parents and those without the means to teach themselves, will see their children fall even further behind due to the lack of choice. This is unacceptable to them and to us as their elected representatives. We trust you share our belief.
 
Of course, the first question will be, what would the legislature do? While there may be many proposals, there is one that is particularly appropriate for Colorado and our tradition of parental control and school choice. Many children will not return to school because they or their families have unique health risks. Other students will not return to school because their school is not reopening for in-person learning in the fall, and a strictly online environment does not meet their academic needs.
 
Already, parents who cannot return to in-person schooling are proposing solutions that they believe best meet the needs of their children, as well as expressing what will best help them protect the health of their children and ensure that they do not fall behind. These solutions include individual family home schooling, micro schools, home school / online hybrids, and even neighborhood cooperatives hiring an educator to teach the children using traditional or online curriculum. The most affluent families will be able to ensure that these alternative programs are successful, but most Coloradans do not have the resources to access them. Thus, the primary challenge for families is an economic one.
 
Parents need the financial resources either to remain at home to teach or to engage someone to serve as their children’s educator. In response to this, one proposal we will introduce is a direct education support package for families, called “Safe Learning Choices.” This support would be available to families whose children cannot attend public school full-time due to the virus — whether due to their own risk concerns or due to their local school deciding not to operate. These families would be entitled to all or a portion of their child’s per pupil revenue to access the educational resources they need to thrive during the pandemic. The funding would allow parents to remain at home, engage an educator, purchase quality curriculum and materials, and if necessary, the computers and broadband service to ensure access.
 
To be clear, our greatest concern is for those families who are most economically challenged. Most Colorado families — particularly single parent households — are facing an impossible choice: either work to put food on the table or stay at home to educate their child. If the state does not adapt education to recognize this obvious and undeniable reality, thousands of kids will be denied the quality education they deserve and need.
 
As we all have learned, many of our assumptions and models of operation have had to change rapidly to meet the changed circumstances of the current crisis. Many changes will remain after the passage of this crisis, and other old models and methods will be forever altered. These changes must happen for our State to adapt and prosper. One of the most important is the education of Colorado’s children.
 
We have the opportunity to help these families whom we are elected to serve. However, without the call of a special session, we are unable to make the resources available to educate our State’s children in new and dynamic ways to ensure equity in their education. Therefore, we ask that you call a special session as soon as practicable to allow us to meet this challenge. We also ask that our legislative colleagues from the majority party join with us in this request as we all share the concern, as well as the resolve to serve our constituents in this most challenging time.
 
We know that you and our legislative colleagues share our hopes for the children of Colorado. Now, let us join together to secure our children’s future as we preserve the health and safety of Coloradans.
 
Sincerely,

The Colorado Sun – One of the GOP’s most effective weapons against the Democratic agenda this year has been a 65-year-old veteran lawmaker from Colorado Springs with an ability to talk seemingly forever.

It was Sen. Bob Gardner, whose tactics have been memorialized on a bumper sticker and are known around the Capitol as “Bobbing.” The steel-haired man would saunter down to the well over the Senate floor and take his time as he spoke at length, turning his gaze from side to side in a room that mostly emptied by the time he was halfway through his talks, referring to himself as a “simple country lawyer.”

His ubiquitous voice has been the tip of the spear, his words-so many of them-used to slow the movement of bills ranging from Democratic efforts to regulate how Colorado colleges respond to sexual assault to another joining the state onto the national popular vote compact

I think Sen. Gardner might have a corporate sponsorship from Halls cough drops,” Rep. Singer said. “He’s pretty impressive. I’ve never heard his voice crack before. It just seems to have this lilt that only professional, vocally trained people could have.;”

Bob steadfastly OPPOSES Obamacare and its crippling effect on health-care consumers and employers.  Bob sponsored legislation in 2013 that made sure Colorado families wouldn’t lose their health-care coverage due to this disastrous federal mandate

RELENTLESS warrior for Second Amendment rights

  • Led the fight against Democrat gun-control measures like an arbitrary ban on gun magazines and unwarranted restrictions on gun sales.
  • Sponsored legislation to speed up background checks and to ensure that those denied have a timely and fair review.
  • Supports the right to use deadly force to protect our homes AND businesses from invaders.

FIGHTING Effectively for the Taxpayers

  • “I am very proud of the work that we’ve done in slowing things down and turning some things back, not nearly enough. And we will continue to that for another week,” Gardner said.
  • He’s known as one of the Republicans’ most vocal debaters and was part of the court case that ensure bills read at length would have to be done so at an intelligible speed.
  • Senator Bob Gardner Demonstrates True Leadership

UNFLINCHINGLY pro-life

  • Supported and co-sponsored a fetal homicide bill and voted for such measures numerous times.
  • Introduced an amendment to prohibit all abortions after 20 weeks except in cases where the life of the mother was at stake.
  • Consistently opposed public funding of programs that provide abortions.

DEFENDER of traditional marriage

  • Fought against at slippery-slope policies that sought to establish same-sex marriage-lite.
  • Opposed EVERY attempt by legislative Democrats to establish designated-beneficiary status and civil unions for same-sex couples.
  • Voted against ALL legislation changing the definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman.
  • Opposed a change of the definition of “family” in state benefits programs.

Religious Freedom FIGHTER

  • Opposed liberal legislation to force church adoption programs to place children with same-sex couples
  • Fought Democrat legislation that forced small businesses to FORFEIT their beliefs and introduced measures to protect businesses from such onerous requirements
  • Introduced amendments to protect churches from having to hire workers whose sexual practices violated their beliefs.

TOUGH on crime

  • Committed to SAFEGUARDING our streets, neighborhoods and CHILDREN from crime
  • Sponsored numerous pieces of legislation to keep our communities SAFE,  ensure sex offenders were registered and punished when they violated the terms of their release, make sure drunken drivers who kill behind the wheel face justice, and protect children from internet sex predators and violent attacks at school ensure sex offenders do not elude prosecution due to statutes of limitations

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