Charter schools, like all public schools in Colorado, are funded by the School Finance Act based on their October student count. Up until now, our state did not 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, and some do not share their MLO proceeds at all.
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 passed at the Capitol on this issue, House Bill 1375, requires that all school districts equitably share this revenue. School districts can either:
- adopt a plan for distributing the revenue to the schools of the school district for the benefit of the students enrolled in the school district; or
- distribute 95% of the per pupil amount of the revenue to the innovation schools and charter schools of the school district (per pupil distribution).
The St. Vrain Valley School District must make this determination and post the decision on its website by July 2018. This change takes effect beginning with the 2019-2020 school year. What does this mean for charter schools in the St. Vrain Valley School District? It depends on the school. As student population at each charter school grows or shrinks, that school may 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.