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While the legislature was able to increase the amount that was put toward public schools this session, Colorado still falls short of 2008 pre-recession funding levels. Amendment 23 requires that base funding for each student increase by at least the rate of inflation, but because of the Budget Stabilization Factor, the debt owed to public schools is still $572 million.
With the passage of a bill that fully funds full-day kindergarten, no parent will have to pay for tuition for their student if they want them to attend a full day of kindergarten. This does not mandate that students attend a full-day of kindergarten, but simply funds districts that provide full-day kindergarten so that they may do so without requiring tuition from parents of students.
Thanks to an amendment to the School Finance Act by Senator Zenzinger, Tier B Special Education funding received an additional $2.5 million to schools meeting the needs of these students.
While retaining revenue for transportation and education (aka “debrucing”) is an important structural fix needed in our broken tax system, the dollars that are brought in are going to be one-time dollars for education funding. With a budget stabilization factor of $572 million still in existence, if passed, this will be a small step forward in better funding our schools (though a very needed one).
While legislators were able to come close with a $100 million buy down this year, legislators in the 2018 legislative session were able to buy down the budget stabilization factor by $112 million.
Props CC and DD are both referred measures from the legislature and will be seen on the 2019 November ballot. Proposition CC will ask for voter approval to retain TABOR surplus revenue for education and transportation, and Proposition DD will ask voters to approve the authorization and taxing of sports betting in Colorado.
Rep. Michaelson Jenet sponsored a bill that was signed by Governor Polis on May 10 to include social workers in participating schools to follow students from kindergarten through fifth grade. This increases accessibility to mental health assistance, as well as lunch programs in participating schools.
False — We have made amazing progress, but our students need SO much more! We need you to continue to advocate for better funding for our schools by getting to know your legislators before the 2020 session and helping with the Prop CC campaign, making sure you and your community get out and votes ‘yes’ for Prop CC. We have lots of ways to get involved!