Public School Finance
The act finds that current economic conditions have increased the amount of revenue available to the state for the 2022-23 budget year, allowing the state to increase the amount of appropriation for the state's share of total program funding for school districts and institute charter schools, thereby mitigating the impact of the budget stabilization factor. Additionally, it finds there is uncertainty concerning the continuity and longevity of these current economic conditions and whether high property values and increased revenue will continue.
- Increases the statewide base per pupil funding for the 2022-23 budget year by $252.88, to account for inflation of 3.5%, to a new statewide base per pupil funding amount of $7,478.16; and
- Sets the total program funding for the 2022-23 budget year for all school districts and institute charter schools after application of the budget stabilization factor to not less than $8,422,216,159.
The act permits a public school one year to discontinue the prohibited use of an American Indian mascot if the public school was first notified of the prohibited use on or after May 1, 2022.
The act extends by six months the requirement for a board of cooperative services (BOCES) to obtain written permission from the school district in which a school operates or is located if the BOCES intends to authorize the school and the school is physically located within the geographic boundaries of a school district that is not a member of the BOCES.
The act extends by one year the ability for local education providers to carry forward more than 15% of per-pupil intervention money received pursuant to the "Colorado READ Act".
The act extends by one year the local accountability system grant program and the requirement that the department of education (department) contract with an external evaluator to evaluate the implementation of the local accountability systems. The act makes an appropriation of $100,000 for this evaluation.
The act extends by one year the completion of the pilot program to develop and use screening and identification processes and intervention strategies for early identification of and support for students enrolled in kindergarten through third grade who may have dyslexia.
The act states that, if a school district permits a student whose parent or guardian is a resident of the state but not a resident of the district to attend school in the district, the school district shall not require the parent, guardian, or student to pay tuition to attend school in the district, regardless of when during the school year, or under what circumstances, the student enrolls in or attends school in the district.
The act allows contingency reserve fund payments for rural or small rural school districts for the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 budget years if an unusual financial burden would be caused by the withholding of local property taxes due to a delay in filing a required audit report due to extraordinary problems that could not have been reasonably foreseen or prevented by the district.
The act requires the department to issue a separate school code for certain programs.
The act act expands authorization for financial assistance through the educator recruitment and retention program to include applicants agreeing to teach for 3 years in educator shortage areas in the state.
The act permits a vendor that contracts with the department to develop a quality teacher recruitment program, and commits to satisfying the requirement to match 100% of the money paid by the department for the contract through gifts, grants, or donations from private donors, to also accept gifts, grants, donations, or other pledges of money from school districts or local governments.
The act removes the department's authority to reallocate money among participating schools under the school food purchasing program.
The act extends by one year the K-5 social and emotional health pilot program and amend the requirements for school mental health professionals participating in the pilot program.
The act permits 20% of the money appropriated for the Colorado imagination library program to be used by the contractor for operating costs.
- Removes the limit on the number of accelerating students through concurrent enrollment (ASCENT) program participants, and allows each qualified student selected to participate in the program;
- Reduces the number of postsecondary credits a qualified student must have completed to be eligible to participate in the ASCENT program; and
- Repeals the requirement that a student who fails to complete a concurrent enrollment course must repay the amount of tuition to the local education provider and repeals a provision permitting a local education provider to require a student who receives a failing grade to repay the tuition amount of a concurrent enrollment.
The act, as amended by S.B. 22-202, transfers $290 million from the general fund to the state education fund.
The act clarifies the state assessments that a local education provider may decide whether students will use pencil and paper rather than a computer.
The act makes an appropriation of:
- $184,125,900 to the department, consisting of $2,101,985 from the general fund and $182,023,915 from the state education fund;
- $1 million to the department for charter school institute mill levy equalization fund;
- $127,973 for the dyslexia markers pilot program;
- $43,113 to the department for college and career readiness; and
- $25,000 for information technology services.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as enacted.)