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SB21-268

Public School Finance

Concerning the financing of public schools, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation.
Session:
2021 Regular Session
Subject:
Education & School Finance (Pre & K-12)
Bill Summary

Section 1 of the bill:

  • Increases the statewide base per pupil funding for the 2021-22 budget year by $141.67 to account for inflation of 2% for a new statewide base per pupil funding amount of $7,225.28; and
  • Sets the minimum statewide district total program funding amount for the 2021-22 budget year and requires the dollar amount of the budget stabilization factor to remain the same for the 2022-23 budget year.

Section 2 of the bill authorizes the state board of education (state board) to take action against an educator license, certificate, endorsement, or authorization if the educator is convicted of an offense under the laws of another state, the United States, or any territory subject to the jurisdiction of the United States, the elements of which are substantially similar to a felony drug offense described in part 4 of article 18 of title 18, Colorado Revised Statutes.Section 3 of the bill extends to 18 months the length of the accreditation contract entered into between the state board and each school district board of education (local school board) and the state charter school institute for the 2021-22 school year.Sections 4 and 5 of the bill extend by one month the deadline for a local school board to certify to the state board mileage for reimbursement from the public school transportation fund and for the state board to certify to the state treasurer the amount of reimbursements from the public school transportation fund.Section 6 of the bill changes the period of time in which the department of education (department) may establish an alternative pupil count day to within 45 school days after the first school day.Section 7 of the bill allows local education providers to carry forward more than 15% of the per-pupil intervention money received pursuant to the "READ Act" for the 2020-21 budget year for use in the 2021-22 budget year.Sections 8 and 9 of the bill adjust the amount of additional funding authorized in Senate Bill 21-053 that is available to school districts that fully fund total program with local revenue.Sections 10 and 11 of the bill authorizes a school district that operated a district preschool program under the "Colorado Preschool Program Act" in the 2019-20 school year with a waiver to serve children under 3 years of age to continue in subsequent school years to use the same number of preschool positions to serve children under 3 years of age who have multiple significant family risk factors.Section 12 of the bill extends the budget deadlines for the 2021-22 budget year for school districts and local college districts.Section 13 of the bill makes permanent statutory provisions that allow school district charter schools that convert to institute charter schools or institute charter schools that convert to school district charter schools to continue to receive funding for at-risk students using the funding formulas that applied to the charter schools prior to the conversion.Sections 14 of the bill requires the state board to review and accept or reject a local school board's proposed revisions to an existing innovation school or innovation zone plan. The state board's determination must be based on serving the best interests of students, families, and the community.Section 15 of the bill removes the cap on appropriations for the school counselor corps grant program.Section 16 of the bill requires a board of cooperative services (BOCES) that intends to locate or operate a authorize a full-time BOCES school or an additional location of an existing school that is physically located within the geographic boundaries of a school district that is not a member of the BOCES during the 2021-22 school year to obtain written permission from the school district in which the school will be operated or located. The requirement for written consent does not apply to a BOCES school that is authorized or operating prior to the effective date of the bill.Section 17 of the bill provides additional funding for at-risk students for the 2021-22 budget year to school districts, district charter schools, and institute charter schools. The amount of funding is based on the number of pupils for the 2020-21 budget year who were English language learners, as defined in the bill, and the number of pupils who were eligible for reduced-price lunch. The department must distribute the amount of additional funding for at-risk students to each school district and institute charter school. Each school district that authorizes a charter school must distribute to the charter school the per pupil distribution amount for the eligible pupils enrolled in the charter school.Sections 18 through 22 of the bill requires school districts and institute charter schools to address chronic absenteeism and disproportionate disciplinary practices in order to provide support to students who are identified as at risk of chronic absenteeism and disciplinary actions, including classroom removal, suspension, and expulsion. The bill amends the expelled and at-risk student services grant program to focus on services for students identified as at risk of dropping out of school due to chronic absenteeism and disciplinary actions.Section 23 of the bill amends the Colorado imagination library program to align the public relations campaign with "Colorado READ Act" campaigns and requires the contractor administering the program to provide a high-quality independent evaluation of the impact of the program on child and family outcomes and to establish a distressed affiliate fund for county-based affiliate programs. The bill establishes the intent of the general assembly to provide full funding for free books for eligible children by 2026, and appropriates money for the program. Section 24 of the bill amends the definition of "local public body" in the public open meetings statute to refer to school districts, which are the local public bodies, rather than school boards. Section 18 25 of the bill appropriates $478,743,696 of general fund money to the department for the state share of districts' total program funding.Section 19 26 of the bill authorizes the use of appropriations for the Accelerating Students Through Concurrent Enrollment (ASCENT) program for the 2021-22 budget year.Section 20 27 of the bill appropriates $400,000 from the state public school fund for school finance audit payments.Section 21 28 of the bill appropriates $77,408,881 to the department from the state education fund for additional funding for at-risk students for the 2021-22 budget year.Section 22 29 of the bill appropriates $2,000,000 from the state education fund for the school counselor corps grant program.Section 23 30 of the bill appropriates $1,706,537 $2,200,444 from the general fund to the department to restore funding to the following grant programs that had appropriations reduced or eliminated for the 2020-21 fiscal year:

  • $800,000 and 0.6 FTE for the ninth grade success program;
  • $375,807 for the school leadership program;
  • $280,730 for the accelerated college opportunity exam fee grant program; and
  • $250,000 and 0.3 FTE for the John W. Buckner automatic enrollment in advanced placement courses grant program; and
  • $493,907 and 0.4 FTE for the local accountability systems grant program.

Section 31 of the bill appropriates from the marijuana tax cash fund:

  • $2,500,000 and 1.0 FTE for the K-5 social and emotional health pilot program; and
  • $3,000,000 for the behavioral health care professional matching grant program.

Section 32 of the bill appropriates $2,000,000 for mill levy equalization for institute charter schools.

(Note: Italicized words indicate new material added to the original summary; dashes through words indicate deletions from the original summary.)


(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)

Status

Introduced
Passed
Became Law

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