1995-2015: Celebrating our 20th Anniversary!
The Principles of School Finance: What is a School Finance System? For more information on School Finance, go to our School Finance 101 tab. School Finance 201 contains information about potential budget impacts to K-12 funding and budgets. This information was created to help districts and state education leaders prepare for what may happen with school finance and how it could impact Colorado’s school districts.
District Budget Cut Conversations and Four Years of the Negative Factor
As in prior years, the CSFP collected budget cut conversations from school districts and the media: 2015-16 School District Budget Conversations. We also added the 2014-15 Negative Factor data to our Negative Factor by County/District 2011-12 thru 2014-15 Summary (Data Source: CDE). The last column indicates the revenue lost to districts over the 4 year period. This information and prior year's information is posted on our District Budget Cuts page.
DRAFT of 2015 possible district elections (Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override) as of August 10, 2015. We will update at the end of August/beginning for September.
- Making Sense of the School Finance Landscape Powerpoint (PDF)
- Making Sense of the School Finance Landscape booklet - July 30 updated version (PDF)
- School District Cost Structure
Colorado Supreme Court ruling Taxpayers for Public Education v Douglas County School District
CSFP's Colorado School Finance & Education Reform Timeline - 1980 - 2016. June 2015 update.
CSFP Highlights of district fiscal trends from the Office of the State Auditor (OSA), School Fiscal Health report, May 2015, reporting on FY11-12, FY12-13, and FY 13-14. Appendix C: Map of districts with 2 or more warning indicators. Prior years OSA School Fiscal Health reports are on the School Finance 101 tab, then click on the Office of the State Auditor heading.
U.S. CENSUS BUREAU - Public Elementary-Secondary Education Finance Data: 2013 (2015 update). The report: U.S. Census Bureau: Public Education Finances: 2013. Colorado highlights:
- Revenue Per Student: Colorado is $-2,061 below the US Average.
- Spending Per Student: Colorado is $-2,053 below the US Average.
- As Colorado has increased per pupil spending/revenue over the years, the US Average has increased more.
CSFP created the following reports reflecting Colorado's Education Finance Data Rankings 2013:
- How Colorado ranks - Per Pupil Spending FY 2012-13
- Colorado ranks 40th.
- Colorado's Per Pupil Revenue compared to the U.S. Average and Colorado's Fall Enrollment
- Colorado's enrollment continues to grow as per pupil revenue falls further from the U.S. Average
- Adjusted for Inflation: Comparing Per Pupil Spending between FY 2007-08 and FY 2012-13
- Adjusted for 2012-13 dollars, Colorado ranks 47th when comparing per pupil FY 2007-08 spending to FY 2012-13.
- Trends & Rankings for Per Pupil Spending, Revenue & Per $1,000 of Personal Income 1991-92 to 2012-13
- Summary chart of Per Pupil Spending/Revenue 1991-92 to 2012-13
U.S. Census Bureau: Public Education Finances: 2013, Highlighting Colorado's rankings:
Dwyer v CO - oral arguments presented to Colorado Supreme Court June 3, 2015, 15SA22. Link to the one hour video of the oral arguments (pdf of the instructions):
- Click on this link, which goes to the Colorado Judicial Branch, Appellate Courts Live Broadcast,
- Type Dwyer in the Archived Video search box.
- Click on 15SA22, In Dwyer v The State of Colorado
- The Dwyer v State of Colorado video will appear.
Office of the State Auditor, School Fiscal Health Report, May 2015. The report includes information from 2012, 2013, and 2014. 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. School Fiscal Health reports from 2009-2015 are on the School Finance 101 tab, then click on the Office of the State Auditor heading.
Maps of Districts with 2 or more warning indicators (note dates are not on the maps)
CSFP's Colorado School Finance & Education Reform Timeline - 1980 - 2016. June 2015 update.
CSFP Presentation to Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) Colorado STEM Network (CSN) May Conference Call.
CSFP Discussion: CSFP Equity Analysis - Overview
Student Centered Accountability Project: Bruce Hankins, Superintendent Dolores County Schools, and Brian Hanson, Superintendent Mancos School District RE-6, presented to the State Board on May 14, 2015 their rural alternative assessment and Student Centered Accountability Project.
- Student Centered Accountability Project: Strengthening Accountability for Students
- Rural Innovation Alliance RIASCA Executive Summary
- RIT - Timeline 5-13-2015
On April 20, 2015 the CSFP emailed all 178 Colorado school districts and the Charter School Institute asking for a response to the question:
On April 21st, we began tweeting responses. We will continue tweeting responses each day in an attempt to capture district needs across the state. We know everyone isn’t on twitter, so the tweets are captured here. The list is updated through Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Our thanks to districts for their insight. For those of you on twitter: We are using the hashtag #k12needsco (K12 Needs CO).
Background on the Negative Factor: Since 2009, Colorado school districts have been negatively impacted by the Negative Factor / Rescissions; forcing districts to cut budgets and continue to make reductions.
Negative Factor by Fiscal Year:
- FY 2009-10: $130M
- FY 2010-11: $381M
- FY2011-12: $774M
- FY2012-13: $1.001B
- FY 2013-14: $1.004B
- FY 2014-15: $880.1M
- FY 2015-16: Estimated $855.1M
Dwyer v CO - Dwyer Order Setting Oral Argument Dwyer v State of CO. Prior information pertaining to the Dwyer (Amendment 23) v CO lawsuit is available here, Amendment 23 Dwyer v CO tab.
CSFP Presentation to Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) Colorado STEM Network (CSN) April Conference Call.
Dwyer v CO - April 22, 2015 - Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Order and Rule to Show Cause (State's reply)- Amendment 23. Prior information pertaining to the Dwyer (Amendment 23) v CO lawsuit is available here, Amendment 23 Dwyer v CO tab.
- Reply to Plaintiff's Response to Order and Rule to Show Cause
- Amicus Reply Brief of Colorado Concern, Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Competitive Council, Colorado Mining Association, Colorado Association of Mechanical and Plumbing Contractors, and National Federation of Independent Business in Support of Defendents State of Colorado
NOW WHAT? March Estimates and Possible Fixes - Carol Hedges, Colorado Fiscal Institute: Presentation to CSFP.
Who Are Colorado's Students? 2014-15 - one page summary of Colorado's students.
Dwyer v CO - March 23, 2015 - Response and Amicus Briefs - Amendment 23. Prior information pertaining to the Dwyer (Amendment 23) v CO lawsuit is available here, Amendment 23 Dwyer v CO tab.
- Plaintiffs' Response
- Amicus Brief of Colorado Fiscal Institute
- Amicus Brief of Great Education Colorado, Education Foundation of Eagle County, Grassroots St. Vrain, and Colorado Latino Forum's Denver Metro Chapter
- Amicus Brief of Department of Business Officials (DBO) of the Colorado Association of School Executives (CASE)
- Amicus Brief of Colorado Education Association CEA
- Amicus Brief of Colorado Association of School Boards CASB
- Amicus Brief of Colorado Hispanic Bar Association CHBA
Natalie Mullis, Chief Economist, Colorado Legislative Council Staff presentation to CSFP: Colorado Legislative Council Services March Forecast and Memorandum to JBC on the March Revenue Forecast, General Fund Overview: OSPB and Colorado Legislative Council Services forecasts.
Superintendents Position Paper: "Endorsed by 174 Colorado superintendents representing more than 92% of the public school students in our state, this statement communicates our collective position on the foundational issue of public school funding."
Quality Counts 2015 (2011-12 School Year, FY 2012)
- Per Pupil Spending by State: Colorado ranks 43 of 51 in per pupil spending; spending $2,715 less than the U.S. Average of $11,735,
- Percent Total Taxable Resources Spent by State: Colorado ranks 39th.
- School Finance Grade by state. Colorado ranks 41st with a D+.
- Nearby States Spending More Per Pupil than Colorado. Colorado spends $2,715 less than the U.S. average.
- Kansas spends $2,379 more than Colorado
- Montana $4,204 more
- Nebraska $4,437 more
- New Mexico $716 more
- Wyoming $8,738 more
CSFP Presentation to Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) Colorado STEM Network (CSN) February Conference Call.
Henry Sobanet, Office of State Planning and Budget: Presentation to CSFP: Colorado State Budget, TABOR, Amendment 23.
Great Education Colorado, Presentation to CSFP: Finding Common Ground on Common Core, results of facilitated conversations about standards, taxes and solutions. Great Education's "Keep the TABOR Surplus for Kids" petition is available here, and on their website.
2014 State Profile Data: Our annual profile information depicts changes in K-12 funding and counts (comparing 1992-93 to 2007-08 to 2011-12 to 2012-13). Prior State Profile information is in the State Profile Data tab.
- CSFP Profile Data: 2014 Highlights: is a 2-page overview of all state profile data highlighting areas of concern for K-12.
- CSFP State Profile Data: 4 tables and Notes (italicized items are new this year):
- Table 1: Enrollment (Funded Pupil Count and Membership), Special Education, Free and Reduced Lunch, ELL (2 year funded and total ELL served), Instances of Mobility, Gifted and Talented. Note that all per pupil calculations are on Membership count.
- Table 2: Number of Teachers, Teachers per 1,000 students, Average Salary
- Table 3: Per Student Current Spendng and Revenues - New: State/Local Revenue without Overrides (See Notes for further information on this item).
- Table 4: Relationship between State/Local Revenue for K-12 Public Education and Personal Income, New: Overrides in Local, Negative Factor
- Notes: Footnotes for all tables are located on the Notes pages.
Dwyer Order and Rule to Show Cause - Colorado Supreme Court. Additional information:
- Amendment 23 and Dwyer v. State of Colorado: Amendment 23 Dwyer v CO tab.
- Amendment 23: School Finance Act / Legislation & Amendment 23 tab.
A recently released study by Northwestern University & University of California on The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes Evidence from School Reforms:
Purpose of Study: To understand whether, how and why school spending affects student outcomes. Findings: Researchers found that increased per-pupil spending, induced by school finance reforms narrowed adult socioeconomic attainment differences between those raised in low-income and high-income families. They find that money does matter and that better school resources can meaningfully improve the long-term outcomes of recently educated children.
Three Years of Negative Factor by district - FY 2011-12 thru FY 2013-14. Totals by district and Fiscal Year. The CSFP will update this report with FY 2014-15 data once that data is final. Data source: CDE, district by district final reports, February 2015.
The Education Writers Association, using recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) data on Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2011-12 FY 2012, created an interactive map containing data for each state. The article: How the United States Spent $600B on Schools SY 2011-12 FY 2012. The interactive map is here. The CSFP also used this data in our annual Trends in Per Pupil Spending.
CSFP Presentation to Colorado Education Initiative (CEI) Colorado STEM Network (CSN) January Conference Call.
Natalie Mullis, Chief Economist, Colorado Legislative Council Staff presentation to CSFP: Colorado Economy and State Budget Outlook.
Update to CSFP Trends in Per Pupil Spending illustrates the gap between Colorado and the national average, 1991-92 through 2011-12. Data sources include the U.S. Census Bureau, Colorado state Profile Data, Education Week; Quality Counts, and the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). Figures are audited data, so lag behind current spending numbers. For the past 20 years, the gap has continued to grow; from less than $500 per student in the early to mid-1990s to between $1,800 and $2,800 less by FY 2011-12.
Read the Colorado Public Radio report: Colorado per-pupil spending lags US Average even more, report says, January 14, 2015, about the Trends in Per Pupil Spending chart above.
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.