Colorado governors (clockwise from top left) Jared Polis, Bill Owens, Bill Ritter and Roy Romer have all endorsed Proposition 119.

Four Colorado governors are endorsing Proposition 119, the ballot measure to raise recreational marijuana taxes to fund tutoring and other after-school educational opportunities.

Current Democratic Gov. Jared Polis and fellow former Democratic governors Bill Ritter and Roy Romer are in support of creating the Learning Enrichment and Academic Progress Program, along with former Republican Gov. Bill Owens.

"The hours our children spend after school are a critical time, and Proposition 119 will allow more kids to benefit from after-school learning activities from tutoring to music and art," Polis said in a statement. "I’m voting for Prop 119 this November because all kids, no matter their family’s income, deserve access to these enriching opportunities."

"Prop 119 is a first-of-its-kind initiative to help close the opportunity gap and it is uniting Coloradans regardless of their political leanings or where they live,” added Owens.

They join a group of supporters that include two former Denver mayors, Wellington Webb and Federico Peña, along with state Sen. Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora, former State Treasurer Mark Hillman and former two former Republican state Senate presidents, John Andrews and Bill Cadman.

"That too many Colorado students are behind in reading, science, and math is a problem that has vexed us for too long, and the pandemic just made it worse," Romer said in the statement released by the campaign behind 119. "Vote yes on 119 to help our kids catch up."

Said Ritter: "In Colorado, a student’s success is too often connected directly to their race, family income and where they grow up. Voting yes on Prop 119 this November can help change that."

 In addition to tutoring, Prop 119 would offer financial aid for career and technical education, STEM support, special education and other services. The program would be available in every community, with priority for low-income families.

Colorado Politics senior political reporter

Joey Bunch is the senior correspondent and deputy managing editor of Colorado Politics. His 32-year career includes the last 16 in Colorado. He was part of the Denver Post team that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013 and he is a two-time finalist.

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