Equity / Costing Out Study

An Equity / Costing Out Study works to understand the resources necessary for students, teachers, schools, districts and states to meet education standards and requirements. Studies have been done in well over 20 states and they have been commissioned by Governors, Legislatures, Departments of Education and advocacy groups.

Colorado’s initial Costing Out report was completed in 2003. There have been five updates to the original work – 2016, 2013, 2011, 2008, and 2006. Click on the tab below to learn about our current and past Equity / Costing Out work.

Paying for Educational Excellence webpage.

2016 Equity / Costing Out - 5th Update

November 2016:

Review of Equity and Adequacy of Colorado School Finance System, November 2016.  In the summer of 2016, the Colorado School Finance Project (CSFP) started a detailed study of Colorado's funding system, including both equity and adequacy research and an evaluation of the structure of the state's current funding formula to contribute to CSFP's ongoing discussion of how Colorado's school funding system measures up to these principles.  Augenblick, Palaich and Associates (APA) worked with CSFP to complete the study and this report presents the findings from this work.

Review of Key Standards & Requirements in Colorado - A refresher or reminder list of requirements that the state requires schools and districts to fulfill.  The list is not an exhaustive list of all requirements.


October 2016:

As part of CSFP and Augenblick, Palaich & Associates Costing Out / Equity Work we created a draft document that describes the School Finance Act of 1994. The document is a work in progress as we continue our work on the Costing Out / Equity Work. Included in the document:

  • Goals set forth by the legislature
  • What did the system fund?
  • Where are we today in meeting the 1994 School Finance Goals?
  • Today's Education System
  • Do we know the cost of this system? (Work on this section is in progress.)
  • What does a high quality education system cost to be successful - not just to be compliant? (Work on this section is in progress.)

September 2016: Costing Out / Equity Work - CSFP and Augenblick, Palaich and Associates - Paying for educational excellence: Does Colorado provide schools with the resources to ensure all children receive the quality education they need to grow and succeed in the 21st century? Many Coloradoans agree the answer is "no." This fall, CSFP and APA are in the process of updating our Costing Out work.

Background information on Costing Out Studies (2013)

Effective School Expenditures, Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking, National Education Policy Center, School of Education, University of Colorado, William Mathis

2013 - 4th Update

2013 Update

2011 - 3rd Update
2008 - 2nd Update

2008 Costing Out Update

Continuing Adequacy/Equity Work
Investing in P-12 Education and Achieving State Education Requirements (Spring 2008) describes the long-term investment needed in Colorado for all students to achieve academic success and meet Colorado's accountability expectations.

  • A two-page version includes short sections on Background, Other States and Colorado's Analysis.
  • The one page version excludes those sections.
2006 - 1st Update

In early 2006, CSFP enlisted Augenblick, Palaich and Associates, Inc. (APA) to update the Colorado Adequacy Study. The update work finished in the Fall of 2006.

2003 Study - Initial Costing Out Report