Taking Note

Stories, facts and figures that take note of how education funding is affecting Colorado’s students:
Preschool  |  K-12  |  Higher Education  |  Special Education  |  Money Matters  |  Narrowing Curriculum  |  Teaching Profession  |  Extended Learning  |  Miscellaneous

The Latest Notes

  • Colorado school districts have a new fiscal challenge this year: the across-the-board cuts to federal education programs known as “sequestration“. The Colorado School Finance Project has compiled this report about the differing impact of the sequestration cuts on individual districts. Notably, school districts often are not allowed to cut the services or programs that federal dollars support (such as special education and at-risk programs) so with no state dollars “backfilling” the federal cuts, local dollars will have to be used to fulfill state and federal requirements.
  • Quality teachers matter from early childhood through higher education, and our schools, colleges, and universities need the funding to be able to invest in them. The Denver Post recently covered the challenge that Colorado higher education institutions are having in retaining top faculty members as the state has continued to cut higher education funding. 48 CU faculty members and 30 CSU faculty members were approached this year by other schools regarding jobs.
  • The National Institute for Early Education Research has released its 2012 “State of Preschool” Yearbook which reports key indicators for the nation – and each state – on early childhood education access, quality, and resources. The numbers are in for Colorado and it’s not pretty: Our state Preschool Program serves 13.7% of 3 and 4 year olds, while the national average is 16.1%.  When it comes to the amount of state resources being spent per enrolled early childhood education student, Colorado ranks 38th of the 40 states who have state preschool programs. Notably, per pupil funding for the Colorado Preschool Program is calculated by taking 50% of the K-12 per pupil funding amount.  As Colorado has made deep cuts to K-12 education over the past four years, CPP preschoolers have seen a requisite drop in state funding: adjusting for inflation, Colorado spent $196 less per preschooler in 2011-12 than in 2010-11. While there is much need to invest further in our students’ critical early learning, the state legislature did make progress in the 2013 legislative session at the urging of the Year of the Student Coalition, adding 3,200 new preschool slots.

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