Welcome

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.

Colorado School Finance Project’s May Advisory Committee Meeting

Colorado Per Pupil Spending Continues to Fall Further from the U.S. Average – U.S. Census data. Fiscal year 2015-16, Colorado’s per pupil spending remains more than $2,100 dollars below the U.S. Average. Ten years prior, Colorado was about $1,600 below the U.S. Average.

Revised Fiscal Note for SB19-246– 4/29/2019

    • FY 2019-20 School District Budget Concerns – April 2019 – CSFP asked school districts across the state about their budget discussions for 2019-20.  We asked how districts planned to use additional funds, what are additional costs you are incurring,  and what are you unable to fund with any additional comments.

May – What we’re reading:

Thompson approves 10 percent salary increase– Loveland Reporter Hearld, May 15, 2019

Perry Preschool study shows early ed benefits extend to participants’ children, siblings– EducationDive, May 14, 2019

4 bills that could affect Greeley and Widsor schools this year– Greeley Tribune, May 10, 2019

Vail Valley schools to add more cops, counselors: State, local funding increases slightly, but so will costs, district officials say– Vail Daily, May 10, 2019

PSD employees cross fingers for cost-of-living raise, question whether it will be enough– Coloradoan, May 8, 2019

Plan For Full-Day Kindergarten In Colorado Awaits Governor’s Signature– Colorado Public Radio, May 1, 2019

The teacher weekly wage penalty hit 21.4 percent in 2018. a record high– Economic Policy Institute, Center on Wage & Employment Dynamics, April 24, 2019

Updated trends in Colorado’s special student populations, April 2019.  More information on student trends is available on our Student Trends page. Links to the individual information follow:

  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. Students identified as Homeless

What We’re Reading – links to school finance related articles

MAY 2019

Colorado School Finance Project’s May Advisory Committee Meeting

There’s Something Happening Here– Carol Hedges, Colorado Fiscal Institute

A session that had everything: Where did education fit in?– Todd Engdahl, Capitol Editorial Services

BEST PowerPoint Presentation– Brett Johnson, Aurora Public Schools

Perry Preschool study shows early ed benefits extend to participants' children, siblings- EducationDive, May 14, 2019

4 bills that could affect Greeley and Widsor schools this year- Greeley Tribune, May 10, 2019

Vail Valley schools to add more cops, counselors: State, local funding increases slightly, but so will costs, district officials say- Vail Daily, May 10, 2019

PSD employees cross fingers for cost-of-living raise, question whether it will be enough- Coloradoan, May 8, 2019

Plan For Full-Day Kindergarten In Colorado Awaits Governor’s Signature– Colorado Public Radio, May 1, 2019

The teacher weekly wage penalty hit 21.4 percent in 2018. a record high- Economic Policy Institute, Center on Wage & Employment Dynamics, April 24, 2019

APRIL 2019

Colorado Per Pupil Spending Continues to Fall Further from the U.S. Average – U.S. Census data. Fiscal year 2015-16, Colorado’s per pupil spending remains more than $2,100 dollars below the U.S. Average. Ten years prior, Colorado was about $1,600 below the U.S. Average.

Revised Fiscal Note for SB19-246– 4/29/2019

Colorado School Finance Project's Advisory Committee Meeting

FY 2019-20 School District Budget Concerns - April 2019 - CSFP asked school districts across the state about their budget discussions for 2019-20.  We asked how districts planned to use additional funds, what are additional costs you are incurring,  and what are you unable to fund with any  additional comments.

State, District and Federal Share of Categorical Funding for FY 2016-17. In FY2016-17, Colorado's school districts total expenditures for Categoricals was about $1.6 billion. The state funded about 31%. The district share of total expenditures for Categoricals was about 68%, about $1.1 billion.

Impact of Final Residential Assessment Rate Study on Local Share, Legislative Council Staff - April 12, 2019

CSFP Advisory Committee Meeting - West Slope - April 2019

Conference Committees:  A Quick Review of the Options, Julie Pelegrin (originally posted March 29, 2018, updated: April 5, 2019, Colorado LegiSource

The Colorado School Finance Project updated trends in Colorado’s special student populations, April 2019.  The individual population information is posted on our Student Trends page. Links to the individual information follow:

  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. Students identified as Homeless

What we're reading (April 2019):

MARCH 2019

CSFP March Advisory Committee Meeting presentations

School Finance Act of 1994 - Overivew of the goals set forth by the legislature and where we are today. March 2019

  • Goals of the 94 Act. What did the system fund?
  • Where are we today in meeting the 1994 School Finance Goals?  Today's Education System

March 2019 Forecast - presentations to JBC:

The Colorado School Finance Project (CSFP) created several reports about Colorado’s School District Tax Effort and Fiscal Capacity for 2018-19. It is important to note that school districts have no control over what 1 mill can raise. March 2019

A Tale of Two Amendments: The Property Tax Dilema - March 7, 2019 - ColoLegisource.  Colorado LegiSource - An informal and educational resource for the Colorado General Assembly by the Office of Legislative Legal Services.

What we're reading:

FEBRUARY 2019

CSFP February 2019 Advisory Committee Meeting

What We're Reading: The Denver teacher strike is over.  Now lawmakers are trying to solve Colorado's chronic education funding problem, The Colorado Sun, 2/15/2019

CSFP presentation to the Public Education and Business Coaltion (PEBC) on Gallagher and TABOR, February 13, 2019.

From Colorado Legislative Council Staff - February 12, 2019:

Report on the State Education Fund - February 1, 2019 - Colorado Legislative Council Staff

Presentation at 2019 CASE Winter Leadership Conference: Colorado's Hidden Treasure, School Land Trust for Colorado's Public Schools - 2019 by Advocates for School Trust Lands, February 2019.

The Colorado School Finance Project’s (CSFP) created several reports about Colorado’s School District Tax Effort and Fiscal Capacity for 2017-18. It is important to note that school districts have no control over what 1 mill can raise.

CSFP Presentation at 2019 CASE Winter Leadership Conference, All The Moving Pieces, February 2019.

CSFP presentation to League of Women Voters, DPS, February 2019.

JANUARY 2019

Summary of Potential JBC Bills as of January 31, 2019 - Memorandum from John Ziegler, JBC Director

CSFP Presentation to League of Women Voters, Chaffee County: Why Money Matters, January 2019.

Supplemental Budget Requests FY2018-19, Department of Education, January 2019 - JBC staff document - subject to change.

2018 State Profile Data: Our annual profile information depicts changes in K-12 funding and counts (comparing the base year of 1992-93 to 2011-12 to 2015-16 to 2016-17). Data is audited so lags behind current information.

  • 2018 State Profile Overview: 1 page overview of areas of concern for K-12
  • 2018 Overview Charts & Highlights: 2 page document with highlights and charts.
  • CSFP 2018 State Profile Data: About the 4 tables and Notes
    • Table 1: Enrollment, Special Education, Free and Reduced Lunch, English language learners (ELL), Instances of Mobility, and Gifted Students
    • Table 2: Number of Teachers, Teachers per 1,000 students, Average Salary (comparing CO and National)
    • Table 3: Per Student Current Spending and Revenues
    • Table 4: Relationship between State/Local Revenue for K-12 Public Education and Personal Income
    • Notes and Terms: Footnotes for all tables are located on this page.

CSFP presentation to the Joint Education Committees on school finance- January 23, 2019

CSFP January 2019 Advisory Committee Meeting: Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) Update presentation by Capital Construction Assistant Board: Tim Reed, Board Chair & Executive Director for Facilities for Capital Management, Jeffco Public Schools and Kathleen Gebhardt, Board Vice-Chair.

A recent National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) report, using U.S. Census data, indicates Colorado's 4-year Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate (ACGR) for 2015-16 is below the U.S. Average in all categories.  The CSFP created a chart illustrating the graduation gaps between Colorado and the U.S. average.

What we're reading:

DECEMBER 2018

December 2018 Forecast

What we're reading:

The State of Education, developed by the Education Leadership Council, December 2018, version 4.0. From the document: This document represents 18 months of effort from Coloradans across the state, led by the Education Leadership Council (ELC). The ELC was formed in June 2017 to create a vision and strategic plan for the education system, spanning from a person’s early childhood into the workforce.

School Finance Interim Committee Meeting 12/11/2018 proposed bill. Additional information on Interim Committees is here.  Click on tab: 2018 Interim Committee on School Finance (HB17-1340) for additional information.

CASB Convention: CSFP presentation - School Finance: What's Next?

Joint Budget Committee: Education Briefing Documents for FY 2019-20

CSFP School Finance and Education Reform Timeline - December 2018 Update

NOVEMBER 2018

School District Election Results for 2018: Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override (MLO), Sales Tax

 

Legislative and District Sample Budget Timeline - 2018-19 District Budget

 

2018 Elections - What do they Mean for Fiscal Policy? - presentation by Carol Hedges, Colorado Fiscal Institute at the November 2018 CSFP Advisory Committee meeting.

 

District Election Preliminary Results - 11/17/2018, 8:30 AM Subject to change as new information becomes available. Be sure to "refresh" your device to view the most recent update.

 

Amendment 73 Impact Calculator

 

Governor's FY 2019-20 November 1, 2018 Budget Request

OCTOBER 2018

DRAFT of 2018 School District Elections - information is subject to change as more current information becomes available.  Elections: Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override (MLO), Operational Mill Levy, Full Day Kindergarten MLO, Transportation MLO, Sales Tax.  Information posted as of 10/31/2018.

 

In early October, CSFP asked Superintendents, CFOs/Budget Managers and BOCES Directors what they are experiencing in teacher recruitment / retention issues.  We received responses from over 70 districts and BOCES across the state.  Following are some of their responses by school district region or BOCES.

Additional information on Teacher Shortage, Supply, Retention

 

CSFP Advisory Committee Meeting - Western Slope presentation

 

The Colorado Sun: Colorado is near the bottom of states in school funding.  That's why there are nearly 40 bond and mill levy override questions on ballots this fall.


Summary Report to Legislative Council - Gallagher Interim Committee 2018
, Bill A, Bill B, Bill C - October 2018

 

Colorado Ballot Information Booklet - 2018 Blue Book - Colorado Legislative Council Staff

 

Responses by Superintendents and CFO/Budget Managers to CSFP's query about Teacher Retention and Recruitment Concerns in their district: Colorado School District Teacher Recruitment Retention - first email 10/11/2018 - more will be added over the month of October.  We have received responses from over 60 of Colorado's 178 districts.

 

CSFP map of Colorado School Districts on 4-day weeks for 2018-19 School Year, (updated December 2018).  Some districts choose to have a 4-day week.  For others, it is a financial decision.  Colorado has 178 school districts.  Source: Colorado Department of Education and districts.

  • 104 (58%) of Colorado's school districts are on 4-day weeks
    • 91 Districts - All schools on 4-day weeks
    • 13 Districts - 1 or some schools on 4-day weeks
    • Colorado Charter School Institute - some schools on 4-day weeks
    • 1 BOCES on 4-day week
SEPTEMBER 2018

CSFP Advisory Committee

 

Statuory Process for Reorganizing School District Boundaries:

 

Summer / Fall 2018: Challenge to the constitutionality of the transportation section (Section 7) of HB18-1306 by CASE/CASB and several school districts.

CASE Press Release
Governor Hickenlooper's letter to the Members of the Colorado House of Representation - June 1 2018

The Bill and Fiscal Note
HB18-1306 - Concerning Ensuring Educational Stability for Students in Out-of-Home Placement
HB18-1306 - Fiscal Note

 

Colorado Ballot Information Booklet - 2018 Blue Book - Colorado Legislative Council

 

September 2018 Forecast

 

School Finance Interim Committee - September 17, 2018 Workshop

 

Alternatives to the Gallagher Amendment Interim Study Committee - Proposed Legislation

 

DRAFT of 2018 School District Elections - information is subject to change as more current information becomes available. Elections: Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override (MLO), Operational Mill Levy, Full Day Kindergarten MLO, Transportation MLO, Sales Tax. Information posted as of 10/1/2018, 3:30 PM Update.

Colorado's Legislative History of Mill Levy Overrides from 1988 - 2018

AUGUST 2018
JULY 2018

High Achieving States Across 6 Benchmarks: Summary of academic rankings of the top 10 states incorporating 6 benchmarks sourced from a variety of sources: ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council), McKinsey/US News - Best States, and EdWeek, Quality Counts.

CASE DBO Presentation: School Finance: Now What? Amendment 73

July 13, 2018 Gallagher Interim Committee Meeting - CSFP Interim Committee information is available on CSFP's Interim Committee page.

  • October 3, 2018
  • August 21, 2018
  • July 18, 2018
  • Agenda July 13, 2018
  • Presentations:
    • Colorado Assessors' Association
    • JBC: Property Tax, School Finance, and the Gallagher Amendment
    • Pueblo City-County Library
    • Department of Local Affairs

Historical information is available on our Historial Info page, by calendar year.