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1D1F7EC1145AA06C8725873B00546FAA Hearing Summary


Date Aug 24, 2021      
Location SCR 357

Overview of School Finance in Colorado - Committee Discussion Only

09:22:20 AM  
Brita Darling and
Julie Pelegrin, Office of Legislative Legal Services (OLLS), and Marc Carey,
Legislative Council Staff (LCS), introduced themselves and began their
presentation regarding the school funding formula. The presentation was
sent to members of the committee and can be accessed here:

09:22:21 AM  
Ms. Darling reviewed
the formula for calculating funding which is based on factors such as school
district characteristics, including statewide base funding, personnel costs,
cost of living, nonpersonnel costs, and the size of the district. The panelists
responded to questions from the committee.    

09:42:29 AM  
Ms. Darling continued
her presentation and described funding based on student characteristics.
Committee members discussed previous efforts to shape the School Finance
Funding Formula.

Brita Darling continued her presentation by describing additional aspects
of the funding formula such as the funded per pupil count, district total
program, and the budget stabilization factor (BSF). Ms. Darling explained
that the BSF is a percentage reduction in each school district's total
program funding that is calculated after the base per-pupil funding amount
is increased and other district-specific adjustments are calculated.

Ms. Darling
then provided a summary of the 2021-22 school finance formula funding.
09:57:11 AM  
Dr. Carey continued
the presentation by explaining that school funding primarily comes from
state and local shares, which equaled approximately $8.0 billion in FY
21-22. He shared that state and local shares can vary significantly by
district and funding can look difference once the BSF is applied. Dr. Carey
explained that  revenue sources can include mill levy overrides, binding,
fundraising, grants, categorical funding from the state, state funds from
sources such as the READ Act, and federal revenue.  Dr. Carey responded
to questions from the committee regarding state and local funding sources,
mill levies, and forms of revenue.

09:58:12 AM  
Dr. Carey explained
that local shares have generally decreased over time, as the state share
has increased in an attempt to offset those decreases because of three
constitutional factors: the passage of the Gallagher Amendment in 1982;
the passage of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) in 1992, and the passage
of Amendment 23 in 2000. Both the Gallagher Amendment and TABOR have put
downward pressure on local property tax revenue. The passage of Amendment
23 has driven increases in total program funding based on inflation and
enrollment growth.  
10:21:13 AM  
Julie Pelgrin continued
the presentation by explaining that after the passage of Tabor in 1994
most districts
waived the TABOR revenue limit, but still reduced their mill levies. In
2007, the General Assembly amended statute to clairfy that districts only
needed to reduce their mill levies to stay within the TABOR revenue limit
if they were subject to the limit. The General Assemly also amended statute
to cap mill levies at 27 mills. House Bill 20-1418 and House Bill 21-1164
then reset the mill levies for districts subject and not subject to the
TABOR limit.

The presenters responded to questions from the committee regarding mill
levy overrides, provisions in HB 20-1418 and HB 21-1164, and mill levy
resets that may take place without voter approval.

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