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Founded in 1995, the Colorado School Finance Project's (CSFP) mission is to compile, collect and distribute research-based, non-partisan information and data on topics related to school finance for state and local policy makers.

The Principles of School Finance: What is a School Finance System? For more information on School Finance, go to our School Finance 101 tab.

We have a new location: 1120 Lincoln Street, Suite 1101, Denver, Colorado 80203-2139.

CURRENT TOPICS

ELECTIONS:

Initial election results - we will update as new information becomes available. District results and Summary Overview as of 11/5/2014, 11:00 AM.

October 2014:

From the U.S. Census Bureau, Public Education Finances FY 2011-12: Colorado spent $31.91 per $1,000 of Personal Income on PK-12, ranking 47th in the nation. The map is available here. The full U.S. Census Bureau, Public Education Finances: 2012 report, here.

The Education Commission of the States reports on state minimum requirements for the Number of Instructional Days/Hours in the School Year, October 2014 update. Per the report, the majority of states require a minimum of 180 student instructional days, Colorado's minimum is 160 student instructional days.

CSFP presentation to Colorado STEM Network (CSN) for October 2014.

Colorado Legislative Council Services Overview of K-12 Public School Funding Scenarios presentation by Todd Herreid, Legislative Council Staff to CSFP.

National Education Policy Center's (NEPC) Schools of Opportunity: The National Education Policy Center seeks to identify and recognize excellent public high schools that actively strive to close opportunity gaps by engaging in practices that build on students’ strengths, thereby creating engaging and supported learning opportunities for all their students. Nominate your school serving at least grades 10-12. Applications for schools in Colorado and New York, application deadline November 15, 2014.

 

September 2014:

CSFP Presentation to Colorado STEM Network (CSN) September meeting.

CSFP Presentation to Superintendents including State Budget, Budget Considerations, Per Pupil Spending Adjusted for Inflation (CO and US), PPR from 1999-00 to 2014-15, Charts with Negative Factor Reduction as Percent of Factors.

Per Pupil Spending (Adjusted for Inflation): Trends in Colorado and U.S. Average Per Pupil Spending on page 1 and Colorado's School Finance and Education Reform on page 2. In 2012, Colorado's average per pupil spending was lower than the 1995 amount, as Colorado's Education Reform expanded significantly over the last few years. CSFP's expanded timeline from 1990's to the present is available in the Timeline tab.


The Office of the State Auditor
released the 2014 School Fiscal Health report last month. Within the report the OSA states "...the decline in available resources is taking its toll on districts. It is possible that the number of districts with warning indicators will increase again in Fiscal Year 2015 analysis." (pg 36). CSFP created two documents from the report:



District Budget Conversations for 2014-15 School Year - information from districts and media as of August 2014. Prior year budget cut conversations are in the District Budget Cuts tab.

 

DISTRICT ELECTIONS & overview of Mill Levy Overrides:

DRAFT Preliminary CSFP 2014 school district Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override, Local Sales Tax elections. Report wll be updated as information changes - updated as of October 6, 2014.

DRAFT Summary Overview of Elections 2010-2014 as of October 6, 2014.

An overview of Mill Levy Overrides from 2009-13. Between 2009 and 2013, Colorado experienced the Great Recession and the beginnings of an economic recovery. To help balance the state's budget, the Colorado State Legislature first instituted Mid-Year rescissions, and then created the Negative Factor. During this time period 40 of Colorado's 178 districts passed a mill levy override (MLO), while 138 did not. Mill Levy Overrides between 2009-2013 is a one-page overview of the impact of having the capacity/not having the capacity to pass a MLO, the wide variation of how many dollars 1 mill can raise, and the impact to district budgets.


Charter Schools & Traditional Public Schools, an overview
:
presentation to Wind Crest Community, Highlands Ranch, CO.

August 2014:

Office of the State Auditor, School Fiscal Health report, July 2014. The report includes information from 2011, 2012, and 2013. For additional background, the District Budget Cuts tab contains information about the cuts districts made during this timeframe due to the Negative Factor and mid-year rescissions. The Colorado School Finance Timeline and Education Reform provides a historical overview of this time period. Prior year School Fiscal Health reports from 2009-2013 are on the School Finance 101 tab, then click on the Office of the State Auditor heading.

Map of Districts with 2 or more warning indicators:


July 2014

CSFP and APA presentation at CASE Conference - School Finance:

1) What does a good finance system look like and how does Colorado compare?
2) National Trends - formulas, funding, budgeting, transparency, student count.
3) Foundation formulas - philosophy of districts - FTE, student based and combinations
4) Colorado's formula

K-12 Per Pupil Funding and National Average Chart comparing Colorado per pupil funding to the National average 1970 - 2011 using NCES data, Gallagher, TABOR, and Amendment 23 passage also noted. Chart provided by Great Education Colorado.


June 2014

Dwyer v State of Colorado - complaint, press release, media. We have also added a new tab, Amendment 23 Dwyer v CO, for information related to the lawsuit.

June 2014 State Forecast: Legislative Council Forecast and Office of State Planning and Budget (OSPB)

Mill Levy Overrides between 2009-2013 - Between 2009 and 2013, Colorado experienced the Great Recession and the beginnings of an economic recovery. To help balance the state's budget, the Colorado State Legislature first instituted Mid-Year rescissions, and then created the Negative Factor. During this time period 40 of Colorado's 178 districts passed a mill levy override (MLO), while 138 did not. Mill Levy Overrides between 2009-2013 is a one-page overview of the impact of having the capacity/not having the capacity to pass a MLO, the wide variation of how many dollars 1 mill can raise, and the impact to district budgets.

District Budget Conversations for 2014-15 School Year - information from districts and media as of August 2014. Prior year budget cut conversations are in the District Budget Cuts tab.

CSFP's annual update to our timeline: Colorado's School Finance & Education Reform Timeline 1980-2014 - updated June 2014.


Update to CSFP Trends in Per Pupil Spending illustrates the gap between Colorado and the national average, 1991-92 through 2010-11. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado state Profile Data, Education Week; Quality Counts, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). For the past 19 years, the gap has continued to grow; from less than $500 per student in the early to mid-1990s to between $1,800 and $2,700 less by FY 2010-11.

TrendsinSpending

 

Note: Typically our Home page contains information from the last 6 months. We try to "roll off" information every month to our Historical Info page. The information is in chronological order, most recent first.

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