Kids Matter Too Calls on Lawmakers to Support a Bipartisan Deal to Provide $290 Million from Budget Surplus for Schools

With a projected budget surplus of $1.3 billion (give or take), Colorado lawmakers are deciding where to invest these resources. The Kids Matter Too effort has been a leading voice for investing this suplus in our schools.

We support the bipartisan effort to address funding of education, teacher compensation, and infrastructure needs of Colorado, which allocates an additional $290 million to go directly to schools.

This is a step in the right direction and we appreciate the lawmakers’ commitment to funding schools. Over the past two decades, Colorado’s schools have faced dramatics cuts and face a shortfall of more than $1.7 billion. It’s finally time to prioritize our students, teachers, and programs and invest in our state’s future.

The legislature has reached an agreement to split the money the following way:

  • $150M buy-down of the Budget Stabilization factor
  • $30M directly to rural schools
  • $110M teacher and school employee compensation support (PERA)

Earlier this week, the Colorado School Finance Project asked Colorado’s superintendents how they would spend any additional money their schools could receive this year. Answers ranged from investing in new science lab equipment to lowering class sizes for kindergarten. You can read more about how school districts responded here.

To learn more about this year’s budget discussions at the Capitol, read this Denver Post article.

News From the Campaign:

Colorado Sun: What does the future of Colorado school funding look like? Here are the questions hanging over districts.

Education advocates and district leaders say that they won’t know how individual districts will fare until they see the full details of McCluskie’s legislation. But some are worried. McCluskie has met with school district leaders in recent weeks after drafting at least three school funding proposals. One of her proposals sparked more questions than answers … Continued

CPR: State leaders celebrate end of school budget shortfalls but some districts worry about the future of funding

For many school districts across Colorado, much of this year’s legislative session has come with swells of emotion, starting with a long-awaited moment of celebration when lawmakers and Gov. Jared Polis committed to funding districts to the level required by the state constitution for the first time since the Great Recession. Even while fulfilling that … Continued

CPR: Colorado educators call for change of a system ‘on the brink of crisis’

Years of school underfunding, an accountability system that erodes trust in educators, rising mental health issues in youth, and school violence are all playing into critical staffing shortages in Colorado’s schools. And educators are worried that other large, systemic issues connected to underfunding are hurting their students. That’s according to the annual State of Education … Continued