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 policymakers.

CDE's Enrollment change 2020-21 to 2021-22
Building a Better Colorado Presentation February 19, 2021
  - School Finance Principles PowerPoint
  - Graphs on Colorado Education Spending and Revenues 2008 to 2019
  - Education Week Per Pupil Spending Comparison chart 2020
  - Percent of General Fund appropriated for K-12 Education
SB21-053- Supplemental Adjustment for 2020-21 School Year Bill Text
SB21-053 Supplemental Adjustment for 2020-21 School Year Fiscal Note
How School Finance Works 
CSFP's February Advisory Meeting:
Video recording of meeting
PERA Presentation by Ron Baker, Executive Director
Overview of Potential Tax Reforms- Carol Hedges, Executive Director of the Colorado Fiscal Institute
  - Tax Year 2020 Income Tax Limits and Range of EITC
CSFP Supplemental workbooks:
  - Potential Supplemental Model 2.11.21 District level
  - Estimated Budget Stabilization Factor Calculation
  - 2021 Midyear bill funds outside the formula- COVID Mitigation- Legislative Council
  - 2021 Midyear bill School Finance Formula Portion- Legislative Council
At-a-Glance: 2020-21 Colorado Public School Student Enrollment

Supplemental Bill passed by the Joint Budget Committee (JBC)

Colorado Student Enrollment 2020-21- Data from Colorado Department of Education, January 2021
- Emergent bilingual students (English language learners, according to CDE)
- Gifted and Talented students
- Free-, Reduced-, and Free & Reduced-Lunch studentsSpecial Education students

February/March What We’re Reading/Watching:  

Building for the future: Weld County school districts using bonds to renovate and add facilities– Chalkbeat Colorado, March 1, 2021

As Colorado House and Senate reconvene, leaders pledge funds for K-12, higher education– Chalkbeat Colorado, February 16, 2021

MARCH 2021
FEBRUARY 2021
JANUARY 2021
DECEMBER 2020
December 2020 Forecast

Legislative Council staff
Economic & Revenue Forecast
Presentation to the Joint Budget Committee
  - K-12 Enrollment Forecast (slides 26-33)
  - Assessed Valuation Forecast (slides 34-37)
  - School Finance Outlook (slides 38-42)
Consumer Price Index Forecast

Governor's Office of State Planning and Budgeting
Colorado Economic and Fiscal Outlook
Presentation to the Joint Budget Committee
The Colorado Outlook: Supplemental Materials
Colorado Department of Education Hearing with the Joint Budget Committee on December 16, 2020 materials
CDE Budget Worksheet Comparison Worksheets- CSFP tool to help school districts compare CDE's June projection to December model released on Monday, December 7, 2020. 
- Excel format
- Google Sheets
Adams 12 Leadership Academy Presentation 12.8.2020
Material from Mill Levy Certification Webinar on HB20-1418
 - Mill Levy Setting Presentation
 - Copy of Bond Debt Service Model Template
 - Mill Levy Calculation Checklist
 - Mill Levy Certification Template
 - Video recording of webinar (skip to 36:00 for beginning of presentation)

Additional resources for reference: 

De-Brucing by district- Leg Council-updated 12.2020

Joint Budget Committee: Education Briefing Documents for FY 2021-22
State Budget Briefing FY2021-22
FY2021-22 Budget Briefing Summary
Colorado COVID-19 Public School Assistance 2020
CSFP Briefing document: Mill Levy changes in the 2020 School Finance Act (HB20-1418) 
Joint Budget Committee: Education Briefing Documents for FY 2021-22
State Budget Briefing FY2021-22
FY2021-22 Budget Briefing Summary
Bayfield School District Presentation- December 3, 2020
2020 State Profile Data: Our annual profile information depicts changes in K-12 funding and counts (comparing the base year of 1992-93 to 2013-14 to 2017-18 to 2018-19). Data is audited so lags behind current information.

  - 2020 State Profile Overview: a 1-page overview of areas of concern for K-12
  - 2020 Overview Highlights & Charts: 2-page document with highlights and charts.
  - CSFP 2020 State Profile Data: 4 tables and Notes page 
       - Table 1: Enrollment, Special Education, Free and Reduced Lunch, English language learners (ELL), 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.
December What We’re Reading/Watching:  
Millions in Colorado school funding at risk because of COVID-19 enrollment declines– The Denver Post, December 17, 2020
About 30,000 Colorado students choose not to enroll in public school this year (Tracie Rainey interviewed in video)– The Denver Channel, December 16, 2020
Colorado’s public school enrollment has dropped by 30,000 students. That could spell financial disaster for districts. – Colorado Sun, December 15, 2020
CDC report: Coronavirus mitigation efforts to reopen schools could cost up to $442 per student– K-12 Dive, December 14, 2020
CDC recommends mitigation strategies that schools can adopt to minimize the risk for transmission of SARS-CoV-1 in school settings – Center for Disease Control and Prevention, December 11, 2020
Across U.S., schools’ worst budget fears have been avoided. No one’s celebrating yet. – Chalkbeat, December 7, 2020
NOVEMBER 2020

2020 November Colorado School District Election Results

2020 Mill Levy Override Map
Colorado Education Association Presentations
DAY ONE: School Finance in Colorado: A Historical Perspective Statehood to 2008- November 16, 2020 
DAY TWO: School Finance in Colorado: A Historical Perspective 2009-Present- November 17, 2020
CSFP’s November 2020 VIRTUAL Advisory Meeting:

Video Recording of meeting 
FY2021-22 Budget Request Governor Polis- Lauren Larson, Grace Glover, Aaron Ray and Luke Teater, Office of State Planning and Budgeting
Distance to the Base & Changes to School Finance in 2020- Justin Silverstein and Tracie Rainey, CSFP
2020 Election Results and Recap- Lisa Weil, Great Education Colorado
2020 State Profile Data: Our annual profile information depicts changes in K-12 funding and counts (comparing the base year of 1992-93 to 2013-14 to 2017-18 to 2018-19). Data is audited so lags behind current information.

  - 2020 State Profile Overview: a 1-page overview of areas of concern for K-12
  - 2020 Overview Highlights & Charts: 2-page document with highlights and charts.
  - CSFP 2020 State Profile Data: 4 tables and Notes page 
       - Table 1: Enrollment, Special Education, Free and Reduced Lunch, English language learners (ELL), 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.

A look at Colorado average teacher salaries over time- Colorado School Finance Project report, November 11, 2020

ELECTIONS PAGE 2020
2020 State Ballot Information Booklet (the Blue Book)- Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly
Local Ballot Measure Tracker link from the Colorado Health Foundation
Governor's FY20201-22 Budget Request- November 2, 2020

2020 State Ballot Information Booklet (the Blue Book)- Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly

Amendment B resources:
- The Gallagher Amendment- Legislative Council Staff, July 30, 2020
- Amendment B explained: What repealing the Gallagher Amendment would mean for Colorado and your property taxes- The Colorado Sun, September 29, 2020
- Gallagher's Effect on Tax Rates Over Time graph
- Amendment B: Repeal Gallagher Amendment, Explained- Colorado Public Radio, October 12, 2020

Proposition 116 Tax Calculator- created by Colorado Fiscal Institute
- CFI Prop 116 Tax Calculator - Google Spreadsheet
- CFI Prop 116 Tax Calculator- Excel format
November What We're Reading:  
  - More contribution hikes, benefit cuts may be needed to close $4.5 billion hole in Colorado's PERA- The Colorado Sun, November 21, 2020
 - Drop in School Lunch Participation Leaves Budget Shortfalls- CT Examiner, November 8, 2020
 - Colorado voters give a big boost to education funding by passing local and statewide measures- The Denver Channel, November 6, 2020
 - Colorado's older teachers facing a crossroads: Risk coronavirus or retire- The Colorado Sun, November 5, 2020
OCTOBER 2020
October Pupil Count- Where are the Students? Presentation to DBO- Tracie Rainey and Justin Silverstein, October 28, 2020
ELECTIONS PAGE 2020  
DRAFT of 2020 School District Elections-  Elections: Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override (MLO), Operational MLO, and Transportation MLO.  Information posted as of 10/12/2020. 2020 State Ballot Information Booklet (the Blue Book)- Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly Amendment B resources:  - The Gallagher Amendment- Legislative Council Staff, July 30, 2020 - Amendment B explained: What repealing the Gallagher Amendment would mean for Colorado and your property taxes- The Colorado Sun, September 29, 2020 - Gallagher's Effect on Tax Rates Over Time graph - Amendment B: Repeal Gallagher Amendment, Explained- Colorado Public Radio, October 12, 2020 Proposition 116 Tax Calculator- created by Colorado Fiscal Institute - CFI Prop 116 Tax Calculator - Google Spreadsheet - CFI Prop 116 Tax Calculator- Excel format
Internet Connectivity Across Colorado- Institute of Education Sciences
Estes Park School Board Presentation- Tracie Rainey, October 13, 2020
Teacher Salary Comparison by 24/7 Wall St.- October 12, 2020
CSFP’s October 2020 VIRTUAL Advisory Meeting:

Video Recording of meeting
September 2020 Forecast & the Blue Book Process- Kate Watkins, Legislative Council Staff
October Count Slide- Justin Silverstein, APA and Tracie Rainey
Gallagher Amendment: Impacts on Schools & Local Services and Why Now is the Time to Repeal It- Senator Chris Hansen
Be a Public Education Voter resources- Great Education Colorado
Education Funding and Taxation Policy Presentation to Great Schools Thriving Communities- Justin Silverstein, APA and Tracie Rainey, October 7, 2020
Average Teacher Salary Comparison Chart using Business.org data
October What We're Reading:   - School Bank Accounts Are Dwindling, As Third Wave of COVID-19 Takes Hold- Huffington Post, October 28, 2020 - Amendment B: Repeal Gallagher Amendment, Explained- Colorado Public Radio, October 12, 2020
SEPTEMBER 2020
CDE Memo: Student October Count Data Respondents/Audit Contacts- September 25, 2020
Average Teacher Salary Comparison Chart using Business.org data


Colorado Joint Education Committees' Meeting agenda and presentations- September 23, 2020 - Agenda - Overview and Statewide Snapshot from CDE - Managing COVID-10 Symptoms and Exposure - Colorado Charter School Institute - PTA and Parents on Reopening Schools - Addressing Barriers to Remote and In-Person Learning - Canon City Schools- How We Opened - North Routt Community Charter School - The Pinnacle Charter School - Budget and Funding Impacts from CDE - Colorado's Public Charter Schools and COVID - Overview of Possible Special Education Funsing Scenarios - Audio from meeting
Beginning in May 2020, the CSFP collected district budget cut realities from school districts and monitored media reports, as well. Our findings are below:
District Reported Budget Conversations 
Budget Cuts from Media Sources
Trends in district cuts 2020-21
CSFP Presentation to the Public Education and Business Coalition, September 21, 2020
- PowerPoint Presentation in orginal format
- PowerPoint Presentation created for grayscale printed
                                                                                                ELECTIONS PAGE 2020
DRAFT of 2020 School District Elections-  Elections: Bond, BEST, Mill Levy Override (MLO), Operational MLO, and Transportation MLO.  Information posted as of 9/21/2020.
2020 State Ballot Information Booklet (the Blue Book)- Legislative Council of the Colorado General Assembly
The Gallagher Amendment- Legislative Council Staff, July 30, 2020
September 2020 Forecast - presentations to JBC CSFP’s September 2020 VIRTUAL Advisory Meeting:
CSFP Student Count and Funding Charts (2019-20 data):
- Emergent bilingual students (English language learners, according to CDE)
- Gifted and Talented
- Students experiencing homelessness
- Special Education
- Students eligible for free and reduced lunch
2020 Quality Counts Grading of State Spending Per Pupil (pp) on Education- 

For the second year in a row, Colorado received an F on Education Week's Quality Counts spending matrix.
September 2020 What We’re Reading:  
AUGUST 2020
JULY 2020
School finance related COVID Articles