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.

Learn more about Colorado school finance in our Colorado School Finance Project Briefing Documents:

Education Week Per Pupil Spending Comparison– this chart compares state per pupil spending to the U.S. average per pupil spending (previously this data was CSFP’s Quality Counts comparison)

June 2019 Economic Forecast

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling on TABOR full repeal – Colorado’s Supreme Court opinion states that full repeal of TABOR meets single-subject ballot requirement.

2019 Interim School Finance Committee:

Proposition CC (a “de-brucing” measure):

June/July What We’re Reading:

    – What PERA’s bad year means for public workers, retirees and taxpayers in Colorado, explained in Charts– The Colorado Sun, July 9, 2019

    – Low pay. Cuts to PERA. For some state workers in Colorado, it’s like the recession never ended– The Colorado Sun, July 8, 2019

     – Colorado lawmakers are trying again to unravel a complicated school finance knot– Chalkbeat, June 26, 2019

    –  Kindergarten Guidance– Colorado Department of Education

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

JULY 2019
JUNE 2019

Education Week Per Pupil Spending Comparison- this chart compares state per pupil spending to the U.S. average per pupil spending (previously this data was CSFP's Quality Counts comparison)

June 2019 Economic Forecast

Colorado Supreme Court Ruling on TABOR full repeal - Colorado's Supreme Court opinion states that full repeal of TABOR meets single-subject ballot requirement.

2019 Interim School Finance Committee:

Proposition CC (a “de-brucing” measure):

Eleven Years of Colorado K-12 School Funding Cuts 2009-10 to 2019-20 (PDF) by county, district (inclusive of mid-year cuts, state budget stabilization, negative factor, and budget stabilization factor) – as of May 2019. Total lost revenue: $8,129,000,000 ($8.1B). During the 2017 Legislative Session, the Legislature renamed the Negative Factor to the Budget Stabilization Factor.

June What We're Reading:

- Colorado lawmakers are trying again to unravel a complicated school finance knot- Chalkbeat, June 26, 2019

- Kindergarten Guidance- Colorado Department of Education

 

MAY 2019

Rural Districts FY2019-20 Funding Distributions per SB19-246– Colorado Department of Education

Colorado Per Pupil Spending Continues to Fall Further from the U.S. Average - U.S. Census data. In fiscal year 2016-17, Colorado's per pupil spending is now more than $2,300 dollars below the U.S. Average. Colorado now ranks 40th, down from 39th last year, in per pupil spending.

CSFP's May Advisory Committee Meeting

2018-19 Legislative Wrap-up for Education Funding- List of school finance bills allows you to see current status of bills, link to the bill itself, and link to the fiscal note for the bill.

What we are reading (May 2019):

Roaring Fork teachers find pay raise in district budget- Post Independent, May 23, 2019

Montezuma-Cortez schools approve tax increase: November ballot issue would help increase teacher salaries- The Journal, May 23, 2019

RE-1 Valley teacher base pay to increase to $33K next year: Board Approves MOU with staff, publishing budget for community review- Sterling Journal-Advocate, May 21, 2019

Largest Annual Increase in Public School Spending Since 2008- US Census Bureau, May 21, 2019

Polis signs full-day kindergarten bill into law- Chalkbeat, May 21, 2019

SVSSD teachers to receive average 7.6% raise under tentative agreement: School board to vote on new contract Wednesday-Longmont Times-Call, May 20, 2019

School district and teachers reach agreement: Salary increases to be implemented next year- Crested Butte News, May 15, 2019

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

Perry Preschool study shows early ed benefits extend to participa

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

CSFP's April 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's March Advisory Committee Meeting

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's February 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 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:

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