Budget Stabilization / Negative Factor + District Budget Cuts

Budget Stabilization / Negative Factor

In FY 2009-10, Colorado’s legislature created a new factor in the school finance formula due to the Great Recession and economic downturn that put pressure on the state’s budget.  The factor is a state budget tool that proportionally reduces the amount of total funding for each school district.  The factor reduces state aid to districts.

Fourteen years of BSF in Colorado – 2009 to 2024 (Inclusive of Budget Stabilization Factor, Negative Factor, and Mid-Year Recissions)

Colorado’s legislature has renamed the factor over the years:

  • FY2009-10: mid-year cut.  HB10-1369 created the new factor.
  • FY2010-11: State Budget Stabilization Factor.  The Federal Government awarded Federal ARRA (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) Funds and Education Jobs Funding which reduced the State Budget Stabilization Factor’s impact to school districts for that year. SB11-230 changed the name to the Negative Factor and extended the factor indefinitely.
  • FY2011-12: Negative Factor
  • FY2012-13 to FY2016-17: Negative Factor
  • FY2017-18 to present: Budget Stabilization Factor (aka BS Factor)

District Budget Cut Discussions

Beginning in 2010-11, the CSFP began collecting information from districts on the cuts made to district budgets as a result of mid-year rescissions and the Negative Factor (renamed to the Budget Stabilization Factor by the legislature in 2017). 

In FY 2009-10, Colorado’s legislature created a new factor in the school finance formula due to the fiscal challenges facing Colorado.  The new factor was and is a state budget tool that proportionally reduces the amount of total funding for each school districts.  The factor reduces state aid to districts.

CSFP’s Timeline of School Finance and Ed Reform (from 1982 to present) provides an overview of  Colorado’s school finance and education reform.

CSFP’s K-12 School Funding Cuts 2009-2021 lists school district cuts (inclusive of mid-year cuts and the budget stabilization/negative factor)

Colorado Legislative Council Staff, Issue Brief 15-22, December 2015:  The Negative Factor and Public School Finance discusses the negative factor.

Since 2009, Colorado school districts have been negatively impacted by the Budget Stabilization Factor / Negative Factor / Rescissions, forcing districts to cut budgets and continue to make reductions.

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