Education Funding

Colorado Lawmakers Increase K-12 Funding

May 15, 2007 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2006 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.

Colorado

The Colorado legislature increased the K-12 education budget by $313 million, set a property tax floor for state residents, and strengthened accountability measures during this year’s session.

Gov. Bill Ritter Jr.

Democrat

Senate:
20 Democrats
15 Republicans


House:
38 Democrats
28 Republicans

Enrollment:
794,000

The 9.2 percent budget increase will bring next year’s total up to $3.7 billion. The money will go toward a 4.6 percent increase in state per-pupil spending for the 2007-08 school year, bringing the total to $5,088 for each student. The budget also provides additional funding for full-day kindergarten and will open more slots for preschoolers.

During the legislative session, which wrapped up on May 4, first-year Gov. Bill Ritter Jr., a Democrat, won passage of a controversial measure that will freeze plunging property taxes in Colorado, preserving an estimated $47.4 million in funding that otherwise would have been lost for school districts. The new law strikes a section in the School Finance Act of 1994 that requires school districts to lower property taxes annually. The bill passed the House and the Senate, which are dominated by Democrats, on party lines and was supported by 175 out of 178 school districts.

“By taking action during this legislative session, lawmakers averted a fiscal calamity,” Gov. Ritter said in a statement. Without the change to the bill, “the State Education Fund [would have been] broke in 2011,” he concluded.

The lawmakers also approved a new method to measure student achievement. It allows schools to compare test scores from one class of students with scores from the same group of students one year later, as opposed to comparing scores with a previous class.

In addition, the legislators strengthened accountability measures by reconciling Colorado’s state and local testing requirements with the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Colorado. See data on Colorado’s public school system.

A version of this article appeared in the May 16, 2007 edition of Education Week

Events

English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Here's How Schools Can Use Federal COVID Aid to Solve Bus Driver and Other Transportation Woes
The Education Department outlines districts' options for using relief money to solve nationwide problems in getting kids to and from school.
2 min read
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools and day care centers on Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021, in Ambridge, Pa.
Students catch their bus near Ambridge Area Senior High School in Ambridge, Pa., earlier this year on the first day of Pennsylvania's mask mandate for K-12 schools.
Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP
Education Funding High Schoolers to Decide How to Spend $1.5 Million in COVID Funding
State officials called Connecticut's new Voice4Change campaign “a first-in-the-nation statewide student civic engagement initiative.”
1 min read
Image is an illustration of a school receiving financial aid.
Collage by Laura Baker/Education Week (Images: E+, Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty)
Education Funding North Carolina Must Spend $1.75B to Narrow Education Gap, Judge Orders
The judge's order has angered GOP lawmakers and will likely set up a constitutional showdown between the three state government branches.
4 min read
Image of money.
TARIK KIZILKAYA/iStock/Getty
Education Funding Opinion Ed. Finance Guru Marguerite Roza on How Schools Can Best Spend COVID Aid
Marguerite Roza shares ways school leaders can most effectively use federal COVID aid to position students and schools for future success.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty