Debates over the merit of tax increases to provide relief for financially strapped public schools are expected to be highlighted in upcoming political contests. In Colorado, a proposal to increase taxes to help offset school-budget cuts was defeated Nov. 1 by voters, many of whom said the plan would harm job growth and the economy. However, some officials are hopeful that voters will reject further cuts to K-12 education next year. "They're smart enough to know that the only way to increase students' employability is through increased skills and knowledge," said former Colorado Gov. Roy Romer, a Democrat.