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Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Colorado leaders celebrate “transformative” education fund

Colorado paid its deficit for public education at its lowest level since 2010, while also creating a separate fund for special education under a pair of laws signed by the government on Thursday. Jared Police.

The Public School Finance Act, or HB 22-1390, is one of the few urgent bills raised by the legislature this year. In it, lawmakers increased per-student funding by $545 for the next school year and reduced the deficit in constitutionally required public education funding from $503 million to $321 million.

Lawmakers originally aimed to eliminate the Great Recession-era deficit, known as the budget stabilization factor, but a spike in inflation put an end to those plans, said sponsor Sen. Rachel Genzinger, an Arvada Democrat. . Still, he described the buy-down as historic – especially after it came two years after the uncertainty of the pandemic made it more than $1 billion.

“The School Finance Act made a record investment in buying up the BS factor,” said Rep. Julie McCluskey, sponsor of Dillon Democrat. “That nasty thing that has been haunting us for over a decade now. And we want to commit to being able to buy that over the next year or two.

Police said the increased funding would help schools raise teacher pay, add workers to reduce class sizes, and restore cut programs in previous years, although state school boards couldn’t specifically state. is how the money is spent.

Colorado Education Association president Amy Baca-Ohlert celebrated the loss-of-trade, while noting that it still hasn’t gone away. Now entering his 13th year, this means a high school senior would have gone the term of his K-12 education in Colorado without a fully funded education, she said.

Meanwhile, salaries, class sizes and wider stresses are taking their toll on the profession, she said. In a recent survey, two-thirds of CEA members said they considered leaving the profession at the end of this school year, Baca-Ohlert said.

“We hope that the district will use this increase in funding to provide enough pay for our teachers so that they don’t have to work two or three jobs,” Baka-Ohlert said.

Police also signed a bill that adds $80 million to special education in the state—an amount that Zenzinger, an educator, called “transformative.” This creates a secondary fund for the School Finance Act to be distributed among school districts based on the number of students with special needs and the depth of those needs.

World Nation News Desk
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