Population Growth in Colorado, Good or Bad?

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Even if inflation threatens the economy, Colorado’s population continues to grow from out of state relocators. As proof from the 2000 Census, Colorado’s population grew by more than 30%. Now slowly but surely, school districts around the state have rebuilt and benefited from economic growth that began in the 1990’s and has yet to slow down. Why Colorado?

Colorado is a melting pot for small business, big business, and entrepreneurs alike. From the likes of microbreweries such as Fat Tire to the footwear pioneers at Crocs, Colorado is a very attractive market, especially for families or individuals looking to relocate.

Logan Chierotti is the owner of coloradohomehelper which is one of the top websites for home buyers in Colorado. Chierotti’s site can be found at the top of search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. He states, Colorado is a very trendy market, and I think this is attributed to the education programs found within our school systems. 40% of Chierotti’s business is from families relocating from out of state.

Chierroti adds, Colorado is a lucrative and attractive place to live. Even if our economy slows down in the forthcoming months, Colorado will continue to see growth because of how much it has to offer. Since 2002 there has been a huge increase in charter schools statewide from 91 to 142.

Also, teacher’s salaries have increased from $39,184 in 2002 to $44,456 in 2005 (Colorado Department of Education CDE). The increase of charter schools and teachers salaries can be attributed to the influx of out of state relocators. But what has been lost in the shuffle is the increase of high school dropouts since the 2002-2003 school year.

In 2003 the dropout rate was 2.4%, in 2004-2005 the dropout rate increased to 4.8% statewide (CDE). Projections through 2012 have dropout rates increasing along with graduation rates decreasing over this period. Stats for the 2006-2007 Colorado school year will be released in August (CDE).

So the question is, does the recent growth in Colorado directly affect educational institutions, or are there other social and maybe cultural issues affecting increases in dropout rates and decreases in high school graduation?

Although the path is unclear, several counties around the state have initiated many head start programs to help better serve underprivileged children such as Denver County, Adams County, Boulder County and Cherry Creek, if the problem lies with other social or cultural issues at hand. Only time will tell whether or not the current population growth in Colorado will benefit our educational systems, even though current trends advise otherwise.

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