District Budget Cut Discussions

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.

Budget Stabilization / Negative Factor by fiscal year

  • FY20-21: $1.17B (Budget Stabilization Factor)
  • FY19-20: $572.4M (Budget Stabilization Factor)
  • FY18-19:  $672.4M (Budget Stabilization Factor)
  • FY17-18: $828.3M  (Budget Stabilization Factor)
  • FY16-17: $828M  (with Supplementals)
  • FY15-16: $830.7M (with Supplementals)  (Negative Factor)
  • FY14-15: $880M  (Negative Factor)
  • FY13-14: $1.004B  (Negative Factor)
  • FY12-13: $1.001B  (Negative Factor)
  • FY11-12: $774M  (Negative Factor
  • FY10-11: $381M  (State Budget Stabilization Factor)
  • FY09-10: $130M  (new factor)

FY 2017-18 Budget Stabilization Factor: $828.3M.  Note: Negative Factor renamed by the 2017 Colorado Legislature to the Budget Stabilization Factor.


Negative Factor for FY 2016-17 $830.7M

District Budget Conversations (spring 2016) DRAFT - updated July 18, 2016


Negative Factor for FY 2015-16 $830.7 (includes supplemental – January 2016)

July 2015 – District Budget Conversations.

Seven Years of K-12 School Funding Cuts 2009-2016 by county, district (inclusive of mid-year, budget stabilization and negative factor) February 2016 report.


Negative Factor / Rescissions FY 2014-15: $880,000,000

June 2014 – District Budget Conversations.

Three Years of Negative Factor by District – FY 2011-12 thru FY 2013-14. Totals by district and Fiscal Year. Data Source: CDE.

BUDGET CUT SUMMARIES: 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13

Summaries for 2010-11, 2011-12 and 2012-13

Trends in Cuts (one page summaries)

Cuts Reported by Individual School Districts

Media-Reported Cuts for School Districts


Between 2009 and 2013, Colorado experienced the Great Recession and the beginnings of an economic recovery.

To help balance the state's budget, the Colorado State Legislature first instituted Mid-Year rescissions, and then created the Negative Factor. During this time period 40 of Colorado's 178 districts passed a mill levy override (MLO), while 138 did not.

Mill Levy Overrides between 2009-2013 is a one-page overview of the impact of having the capacity/not having the capacity to pass a MLO, the wide variation of how many dollars 1 mill can raise, and the impact to district budgets.


Negative Factor / Rescissions FY 2012-13: $1.001B

May 2012 - Video of the Rural Education Challenge panel discussion and forum May 31, 2012: unique challenges facing rural Colorado school districts with a panel of rural educators.

April 2012 Negative Factor Increases
January 2012 Survey of 3 years of budget cuts

School district budget cut conversations for School Year 2012-13 – Ongoing discussions. Districts make final decisions by June 30, 2012.

  • Cuts continue for the 3rd and 4th year
  • Drawing down reserves
  • Concerns in reduction of administrators with the implementation of Educator Effectiveness
  • Furlough days continue and expand
  • Class sizes continue to increase
  • Lowered graduation requirements
  • Reduce facilities and/or close schools

Cuts reported by individual school districts for 2012-13
Media reported cuts for school districts for 2012-13
Trends in the cuts for 2012-13


April 2012: Negative Factor Increases: 12.94% in 2011-12, increases to 16.1% for 2012-13, “Flat Funding?” – Districts Continue to Cut as districts face another year of drastic cuts, options to keep cuts away from classroom are unrealistic. April 11, 2012 update to Budget Conversations Reported by the Media. Update to Budget conversations reported to CSFP by individual districts will be the week of April 16.

January 2012: Survey Results: 3 Years of Budget Cuts to Colorado School Districts. At the end of 2011, the CSFP surveyed school districts regarding their budget reductions over the past three years (2009-10, 2010-11, 2011-12).


School district budget cuts for School Year 2010-11 – Negative Factor / Rescissions 2010-11: $381,000,000

Cuts Reported by Individual School Districts
Summary 2010-11 Media Reported Cuts
Trends of 2010-11 District Reported Budget Cuts