Welcome to Grassroots St. Vrain! Part of our mission is to share and explain how Colorado funds its public schools, not just in the St. Vrain Valley School District, but statewide. Do you have questions about how our schools are funded? Don’t miss our series of short videos that explain things such as the Colorado state funding formula, why we have local initiatives, and yes, where the money from marijuana goes.
Right now citizens are increasingly paying attention to our political landscape. As policy changes loom, many are asking how their voice or opinion can be heard. You, as a citizen of Colorado, have the right to attend committee meetings and voice your support for or opposition to bills when they are being considered in the Legislature.
GSV watches bills that affect education funding. Here are the current bills under consideration, a brief synopsis of each, and the link to the bill in the Colorado Legislature. Use the link to view the bill as written, its progress through the legislature, and dates it will be heard on the floor or in committee. And, if you decide to attend one of these hearings, let us know! We may join you there.
- Senate Bill 17-061, Additional Funding for Charter School Operating Costs: This bill would require school districts to distribute revenues it receives from ongoing local property tax mill levies overrides equally, on a per-student basis, to the school district charter schools. For more information see Senate Bill 17-061
- Senate Bill 17-254, Long Appropriations Bill: This bill is the annual “long bill”, which determines the annual budget for the state of Colorado. It establishes the payment of the expenses of the executive, legislative, and judicial departments of the state of Colorado, as well as for public education, for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2017. See Senate Bill 17-254.
- Senate Bill 17-267, Sustainability of Rural Colorado: This bill includes several changes to help boost revenue to rural Colorado that would certainly affect school funding across the board. Among these are reclassifying the Hospital Provider Fee to a TABOR-exempt enterprise, which would allow Colorado to keep more revenue collected that is otherwise limited by the TABOR revenue cap. Other provisions include a two percent spending cut of state agencies, and raising money for rural schools by executing lease and purchase agreements for state facilities. See Senate Bill 17-267.
- Senate Bill 17-296, Financing Public Schools: The School Finance Act each year sets how much each school district receives per pupil. This year the base funding, part of a district’s total program funding, is proposed at $6,546 per pupil, which is a 2.8% inflationary increase over last year. How much total program funding will be reduced via the Negative Factor is still under discussion. See Senate Bill 17-296.
- House Bill 17-1340, Concerning Creation of a Legislative Interim Committee to Study School Finance Issues: The last time Colorado changed the way the state funds its schools was in 1994. This bill creates a legislative interim committee to study school finance issues, and make legislative recommendations concerning how to most accurately meet the educational needs of students through the funding of education in Colorado. See House Bill 17-1340.
- House Bill 17-1187, Change Excess State Revenues Cap Growth Factor: This bill would have modified the excess state revenues cap, as defined by TABOR and Referendum C, by allowing an annual adjustment for an increase based on the average annual change of Colorado personal income over the last five years. HB17-1187 would have allowed voters to decide whether to adopt the metric for economic growth that the majority of other states with revenue limits use. For more information see House Bill 17-1187.
This document from the Colorado Legislative Council explains How Bills Become Law in Colorado.
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