Charter schools, like all public schools in Colorado, are funded by the School Finance Act based on their October student count. Our state does not currently require that school districts share any proceeds of additional local tax initiatives, or mill levy overrides, with their charter schools. Practices vary across the state, but currently eleven school districts equitably share voter approved revenue with their charter schools, according to the Colorado League of Charter Schools. The St. Vrain Valley School District is already sharing proceeds from both of its mill levy overrides (MLOs) with charter schools based on charter school enrollment in the years the MLOs were passed by voters.
New legislation being debated at the Capitol on this issue, Senate Bill 61, proposes that all school districts equitably share this revenue with charter schools based on per pupil enrollment. If passed, what would this mean for the St. Vrain Valley School District? It depends on the school. As currently written, the law would require that revenue received from MLOs each year be shared with charter schools according to each school’s funded pupil count for that year. For example, if a charter school enrolls 2% of the school district’s students in a given year, it would receive 2% of the MLO proceeds for that same year. As student population at each charter school grows or shrinks, that school would receive more or less funding from the MLO based on its enrollment each year…instead of the percentage of the SVVSD student population at the time the MLO was passed, as is the practice now.