COLORADO: School finance bills headed to Hickenlooper
By Sheridan Block
Just at the end of the legislative session this week, the House and Senate passed two bills that would funnel funds back into K-12 resources after cuts during the recent recession.
The School Finance Act (HB 14-1298) and the Student Success Act (HB 14-1292) address K-12 education and are expected to allocate an additional $450 million to students and programs. Total investment for all K-12 resources is over $6 billion.
On Thursday, May 1, the Senate passed both bills on third reading. The Student Success Act, the more debated of the two bills, received an approval vote of 33 to 2, and the School Finance Act was favored 23 to 12. Both bills were returned to the House earlier this week to review Senate amendments but are expected to pass and be signed by Gov. John Hickenlooper.
Sponsored by Reps. Carole Murray (R-Castle Rock) and Millie Hamner (D-Dillon), the Student Success Act is an investment of an additional $180 million into K-12 education. The act will direct $110 million into the "negative factor," a budget cut formula that hit school districts during the recession; provide $20 million for early literacy programs; give additional funding for charter school facilities; and,