Sep 202005
Authors: Katrina Tamminga

After being in the classroom for 30 years, Sen. Bob Bacon knows a thing or two about the importance of education.

Whether it's working for the B.A.S.E. (Before and After School on-site Child Care) Camp, serving as vice chair for the education committee in the Senate or fighting for increased funding in higher education, Bacon constantly advocates the value of education.

"Education on any level is an investment that reaps many benefits for all," Bacon said.

A 46-year resident of Fort Collins, Bacon represents the city in District 14.

"Colorado is home and we live in a great community," Bacon said. "CSU is an outstanding university and I believe that the logo 'knowledge to go places' couldn't be more true."

Originally from Galesburg, Ill., Bacon graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in social sciences but left Illinois to attend the University of Northern Colorado, where he graduated with a master's degree in history in 1961.

Bacon spent the next 30 years teaching high school history in the Poudre School District (PSD).

Although Bacon was in a classroom for more than thirty years, he said he has always been an "armchair participant in politics."

Following his retirement in 1991, Bacon began his political career on the Board of Education for the PSD and was twice elected to the position.

In 1997 Bacon was elected to replace Peggy Reeves as Colorado State Representative for District 53 and in 2004 Bacon was elected state Senator.

Bacon and his wife, Bev, who also taught for many years in the PSD, have three children and just four weeks ago welcomed their fifth grandchild.

"Family is my priority," Bacon said. "We always make great efforts to get together at least once a year even though we are all spread- out throughout the country."

Aside from spending time with his family, Bacon enjoys working in his garden and playing cards with his circle of friends.

Currently, Bacon is focusing his energy towards Referenda C and D.

If voters pass Referendum C in November, lawmakers will be able to spend $3.6 billion that would otherwise be refunded to taxpayers.

Referendum D would allow this money to be borrowed immediately for education and transportation needs.

Bacon said Referenda C and D are particularly important for Fort Collins and the university.

"Higher education will be greatly cut and if the referenda are not passed, there will be no state funds," Bacon said. "Within the next five years, public schools will be privatized and tuitions will have to cover the entire university fees. I don't think the $27 refund is worth that."

Bacon said he finds it unconscionable that Colorado, which has one of the highest higher education graduation rates, has such low financial support for higher education.

Other issues now weighing on Bacon are domestic violence, economic development and environmental issues.

Bacon is currently involved in programs that train police and judges to understand domestic violence. The programs will aim to help victims of domestic violence, specifically women, attain the resources they need to get away from the violence, Bacon said.

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