A new bill to be introduced in the Colorado State Senate will, if passed, revamp Colorado’s Public School Finance Act, which has been in place for about 20 years. According to an article in today’s Denver Post, the bill would enact sweeping changes to Colorado’s current school finance system, including abolishing the annual October 1 student count in favor of an average determined by four days per year. The bill would also tweak the ways smaller districts can pass tax increases; require transparency in district spending; and increase financing to special education programs. Should the bill pass the legislature, it would then have to go to a statewide vote because of provisions of TABOR that require all tax increases to be referred to voters.
Detailed information on district funding per the Public School Finance Act can be found here. Also, for an introduction to the Public School Finance Act as it stands today, see the Colorado Dept. of Education’s annual publication Understanding School Finance and Categorical Program Funding. Issues back to 2002 are online; earlier issues may be checked out from our library.