School Finance in Colorado

This week’s teacher walkouts have highlighted the issue of school finance in Colorado. Last week the Colorado Legislative Council issued a new booklet entitled School Finance in Colorado. This booklet is intended to help readers understand the complexities of Colorado’s school funding formulas, especially the Public School Finance Act of 1994 and its 2015 amendments. “Several illustrations are provided to help readers calculate funding under the formula. The booklet also describes several other provisions of law that relate to school district funding. These provisions include a description of revenue that is earmarked for specific functions, other local sources of revenue, categorical programs, and the Colorado Preschool Program,” according to the abstract.

The Legislature is also currently considering HB18-1379, a school finance bill that deals with per-pupil funding and district total program funding. For reference with the bill, Legislative Council has prepared a district-by-district funding comparison chart.

For a list of more helpful resources see my blog post from this past February about Understanding Colorado School Finance.

As for the teacher walkouts, according to Legislative Council’s website, SB18-264 prohibiting teacher strikes is currently the website’s most-accessed bill. To view all of the bills currently under consideration by the General Assembly, along with helpful resources by subject, visit their website.