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Staff Publications

School Finance in Colorado

Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)

The purpose of this booklet is to help readers understand how Colorado finances its public elementary and secondary schools. The major focus of this booklet is an explanation of the funding formula included in the Public School Finance Act of 1994, including amendments made to the act in 2015. Several illustrations are provided to help readers calculate funding under the formula. The booklet also describes several other provisions of law that relate to school district funding. These provisions include a description of revenue that is earmarked for specific functions, other local sources of revenue, categorical programs, and the Colorado Preschool Program. Please note that this booklet is intended to provide a summary overview of programs that affect funding for schools; state law should be consulted for more specific details on the operation of the programs or for information on other programs that provide money to school districts.