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6982850BE41F3CB7872584240054A8FA Hearing Summary


Date Jun 25, 2019      
Location HCR 0112

Colorado's School Finance System: The School Funding Formula - Committee Discussion Only

09:24:51 AM  

Julie Pelegrin and Brita Darling, Office of Legislative Legal Services, introduced themselves to the committee and began their presentation regarding the school funding formula. The presentation was sent to members of the committee and can be accessed here:

09:27:34 AM  

Ms. Darling reviewed base per pupil finding.  The school finance formula begins with a base per pupil (BPP) funding amount statewide.  This figure is established in statute through the annual school finance bill.  The school finance formula increases BPP funding for districts that have a higher cost of living or a smaller district size, as measured by pupil enrollment.  Ms. Darling reviewed the formula for calculating funding based on school district characteristics, including the statewide base funding, personnel costs, cost of living, nonpersonnel costs, and the size of the district.

09:34:12 AM  

Ms. Darling explained how the funding formula funds districts based on student characteristics, such as how many at-risk students are enrolled in the district and multidistrict online or extended high school students. At-risk students include students that are eligible for free or reduced lunch and certain English language learners. Ms. Darling discussed how the state counts students in each district. This is called the October count, which is the actual number for the current year, or an average of the current year and the last one, two, three, or four years, whichever is highest. Ms. Darling explained how the budget stabilization factor impacts a district's share of total program funding. The budget stabilization factor is applied to total program funding and is a percentage reduction in total program funding to reflect the actual amount of funding available for the state share of total program funding.

09:41:12 AM  

Ms. Darling explained that in FY 2019-20, the statewide funded pupil count was 894,569 and the total program funding after the budget stabilization factor was $7.58 billion.

09:41:51 AM  

Leanne Emm, the former head of school finance for the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), introduced herself to the committee, and stated that she was available for questions from the committee. Ms. Emm, Ms. Pelegrin, and Ms. Darling answered questions from the committee regarding the school funding formula, the budget stabilization factor, and how certain factors impact total program funding.

09:58:52 AM  

The panel continued to answer questions from the committee regarding the funding formula, funding for English language learners, the impact on a district's funding as it relates to BOCES, and how the student count impacts total program state share payments.  The panel explained the funding of phantom students, which is the count of students through averaging the current year count. This occurs in districts with declining enrollment.

10:36:34 AM  

The committee recessed.