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Founded in 1995, the Colorado School Finance Project (CSFP) is a non-profit whose 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.


Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance state website HB17-1340, 1340 Interim Committee. Includes links to committee documents, committee schedule & meeting materials, HB17-1340 and committee members. CSFP's webpage for Interim Committee information is here.


Colorado: Did You Know 2017? -Short (about one minute) video comparing Colorado’s per pupil funding and 4-year graduation rate to the U.S. Averages. Link to video. Our Did You Know? page houses our Colorado - Did You Know? videos.




September 2017

September 2017 Economic Forecast:



CSFP Presentation Documents September 19, 2017

Column from The Hechinger Report: While The Rest Of The World Invests More In Education The U.S. Spends Less - Years of disinvestment could affect the future U.S. labor force.


Colorado's Rural Teachers Are Getting Pinched in the Teacher Salary Game - article by Jenny Brundin, Colorado Public Radio.


CSFP September Advisory Committee Meeting:


Colorado's Legislative History of Mill Levy Overrides from 1988 - 2017



Preliminary list of ballot items for 2017 Colorado School District elections - November 7. 2017 election. List updated September 15, 2017. The list will be updated as new information becomes available.


Colorado: Percent of Personal Income Invested in PK-12 Education - one-page overview.


August 2017

Timeline of Colorado's School Finance & Education Reform 2017-18 thru 1982 PDF (August 2017 Update).




One page write-up about Counting Students. Additional research about counting students is available on our page Average Daily Membership - Study from SB 10-008 - a study to evaluate the feasibility of a system based on the average daily membership in school districts for Colorado's Public School Finance Act of 1994.


CSFP Presentation at Advocacy U Workshop - Dire Straits - Nine Years of Colorado's K-12 Funding Cuts 2009-2018, How the Budget Stabilization (Negative) Factor has impacted districts, What districts would do with additional funds.


Percent share of funding for Federal, State and Districts - FY2014-15
(data from JBC Education Briefing Report, December 2016. Categoricals: Special Education, English language learner, Gifted and Talented, Career and Technical Education and Public School Transportation.


July 2017

CASE Convention - School Finance Presentation by the Colorado School Finance Project and Augenblick, Palaich and Associates


Office of State Auditors
- School District Fiscal Health Analysis - Fiscal Years 2014-2016


2017 Interim Committee School Finance
. Link to CSFP Interim Committee webpage

July 24 2017 Meeting:

Interim Committee on School Finance state website for 2017 session. Includes links to committee documents, committee schedule and meeting materials, HB17-1340 and committee members.


Colorado Department of Education's Financial Transparency Website


June 2017:

Governor's Education Leadership Council - amending - link to CSFP webpage for Colorado Education Leadership Council


Colorado Per Pupil Spending Continues to Fall Further from the U.S. Average - U.S. Census data. Fiscal year 2014-15, Colorado's per pupil spending was over $2,100 dollars below the U.S. Average. Ten years prior, Colorado was about $1,400 below the U.S. Average.


Comparing Colorado and U.S. Average: Estimated Avg Annual Teacher Salary


June 2017 Economic Forecast:


Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance state website HB17-1340, 1340 Interim Committee. Includes links to committee documents, committee schedule and meeting materials, HB17-1340 and committee members.


Timeline of Colorado's School Finance & Education Reform 2017-18 thru 1982 (May 2017 Update).


May 2017:

CSFP May 2017 Advisory Committee Meeting:


April 2017:

CSFP April Advisory Committee Meeting:


2017 Action Summit - Colorado Conundrum


Western Slope CSFP Advisory Committee Meeting


Comparing a variety of audited funding sources, the funding gap between Colorado and the U.S. Average has continued to increase over the past two decades. Also included is a chart, in constant 2016 dollars, illustrating how much less Colorado spent per student in 1994, 2004 and 2014. In constant 2016 dollars, Colorado spent about $1,000 per pupil less in 1994 and about $2,000 less per pupil in 2014.


Colorado's Per Pupil Spending Gap for 2013-14 compares Colorado's per pupil spending gap with and without the negative factor to the U.S. Average and the average of the top 5 per pupil spending states. With the negative factor, Colorado ranks 40th in per pupil spending. Without the negative factor, Colorado ranks 29th.


March 2017:

Denver Post - Supreme Court Bolsters Rights of Learning-Disabled Students in Ruling in Colorado Case - Endrew F v Douglas County School District 1


Article from the Journal-Advocate: Colorado School Funding Facing 'Scary' Situation - recapping a presentation by one of CSFP's board members / Deputy Superintendent/Chief Financial Officer of Colorado Springs D-11.


March 2017 State Forecasts


Updated reports on Colorado's special needs populations and a comparison of Average Teacher Salary: Colorado to the U.S. Average.

  1. Students receiving Special Education services
  2. Students learning English
  3. Students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch (proxy for poverty)
  4. Students receiving Gifted and Talented services
  5. Homeless Students
  6. Estimated average teacher salary - Colorado compared to the U.S. Average - constant 2015-16 dollars.


JBC Staff Figure Setting 2017-18 - Department of Education (JBC working document - subject to change)


School Finance and the Constitution, Colorado Legislative Council Staff


Colorado: Did You Know 2017? - second video in our series Colorado: Did You Know?describing the school finance situation in Colorado. Our second video provides additional detail about the impact of Colorado's funding of K-12 students, districts and the state of Colorado. Our Did You Know? page house both videos and PDFs.

February 2017:

Colorado School Finance Project Advisory Meeting February 2017 presentations

Colorado Legislative Council - Education Budget Outlook - February 2017 - Natalie Mullis, Chief Economist, Legislative Council staff


Eight Years of K-12 School Funding Cuts 2009-2017 by county, district (inclusive of mid-year, budget stabilization and negative factor) - updated February 2017.


Video from KUSA 9News answering the question “I thought all that tax money from marijuana was supposed to take care of all this.”

Why Pot Tax Can’t Save a Jeffco School


CASE Winter Leadership Conference:


January 2017:

CSFP January Advisory Committee Meeting presentations:


KUNC - All Things Considered: Lawmakers Float Solutions to Colorado's School Funding Shortfall, January 18, 2017, an interview with Tracie Rainey (Executive Director, Colorado School Finance Project.


Hickenlooper's Supplementals and Budget Amendments January 17, 2017


Education Week, Quality Counts 2017: Chart comparing per pupil spending above and below the U.S. average between Colorado and the 50 states and D.C. (2014 audited data). Colorado spends $2,685 less than the U.S. average, ranking 41st of 51. Quality Counts 2017: Per Pupil Spending 2014 Data, Dollars Above or Below U.S. average.


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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