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Colorado Governor's Office Says Comment About Government's Role in Education Was Taken Out of Context

“Government should do what people individually can’t do, or can’t do well themselves.”

December 18: Colorado governor John Hickenlooper talks about the economic development that will come with the announcement that Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company will be the anchor tenant of the Peña Station site Thursday, December 18, 2014 at the Denver City and County Building in Denver, Colorado. Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock announced that Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, would be occupying space and creating 300 new jobs near Denver International Airport at Peña Station.\n

A spokeswoman for Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper tried to clarify Friday what the governor meant after he created a stir by seeming to imply that only the government can educate children.

December 18: Colorado governor John Hickenlooper talks about the economic development that will come with the announcement that Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company will be the anchor tenant of the Peña Station site Thursday, December 18, 2014 at the Denver City and County Building in Denver, Colorado. Denver mayor Michael B. Hancock announced that Panasonic Enterprise Solutions Company, a division of Panasonic Corporation of North America, would be occupying space and creating 300 new jobs near Denver International Airport at Peña Station. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper at the Denver City and County Building in Denver. (Brent Lewis/Denver Post via Getty Images)

“Government should do what people individually can’t do, or can’t do well themselves,” Hickenlooper said earlier this week. “You know, educating our young people, making sure our roads are designed and built properly, making sure our communities are safe.”

Hickenlooper spokeswoman Kathy Green did not retract or apologize for the statement as some home-school advocates had demanded, but said the comment was taken out of context.

"The governor was talking about priorities in the state budget," Green told TheBlaze. "In this short clip specifically he was referring to families who choose to send their children to public schools and in that context pointing to the need for supporting public education. Taken out of context this is an unfair characterization of his remarks."

The reason most parents in Colorado and around the country home-school is the inadequacy of public schools, said

The Home School Legal Defense Association was among those that had called on the governor to apologize.

“There are tens of thousands of children in Colorado whose parents educate them quite well at home,” Home School Legal Defense Association attorney Mike Donnelly said in a statement. “Colorado law recognizes that parents have the primary responsibility to educate their children, and that home education is legitimate and appropriate.”

“HSLDA is calling on the governor to retract his remarks and issue an apology to the tens of thousands of parents who save the state millions of dollars and responsibly and competently educate their own children at home,” Donnelly said.

Colorado state Sen. Kevin Lundberg, a Republican and home-schooling parent, also asked for an apology.

“Governor Hickenlooper owes Colorado parents who educate their children at home a big apology,” Lundberg said. “To say that individuals cannot do well in educating children is either a direct slap in the face of those parents who have done an extraordinary job of teaching their children, or it is an incredible show of ignorance.”

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