COSFP Resources, Help Us Educate Others!


The Colorado School Finance Project has released a few more fantastic infographics to educate Colorado about the issues surrounding education funding.

Read, view, and share! Others will not understand the issues without you providing the information!

In 2014-15 the district share of Special Education funding was 62%, Colorado’s was 21%, and the federal government was 17%. About 89,600 of Colorado’s 889,000 students received special education services in 2014-15, approximately 10% of students. Nationally about 13% of students receive special education services.

(NCES, The Condition of Education, updated 2016)


In 2014, the Colorado legislature increased the number of English learner students who received funding from the English Learner Program, but did not increase the program funding.

Prior to 2014:

  • Funded students for 2 years.
  • Approximately $427 per student

After 2014:

  • Funded students for 5 years.
  • Approximately $145 per student.

Colorado has over 126,000 students who are English language learners, about 14% of the total K-12 population. Our students speak over 235 languages.

In 2014-15, districts funded about 80% of English Learner services. The state and federal share was about 20%.

Source: JBC Education Briefing Document, Table B, December 7, 2016.


Since 2003-04 the number of PK-12 students who qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch (proxy for poverty) has increased steadily from 30% of students in 2003-04 to 42% of students in 2016-17. A 67% increase in 13 years.


Over the same time, students not qualifying for Free or Reduced Lunch remained relatively constant – hovering around 525,000 students. In 2016-17 Colorado had over 900,000 Pre-K – 12 students.


As Colorado’s PK-12 student population continues to grow by 7,000 to 10,000 students per year, the number of students in Gifted education programs has also grown. In 2016-17 gifted and talented students decreased about 3,000 students. In Colorado, between 7-8% of students qualify for gifted education services. Areas of giftedness: Specific Academic Aptitude; Creative or Productive Thinking; Leadership Abilities; Visual Arts; Performing Arts; Musical, Drama Psychomotor Ability.



Per Pupil Funding for gifted students continues to be below 2009-10 funding.

In 2014-15, the state funding share of Gifted Education was 31% ($9.6M). The district funded about 69% ($21.3M)1 . Since 2010-11, per pupil funding for gifted education has decreased.

“All administrative units are required to identify and provide services to gifted students. The extent of gifted education programming is dependent upon local resources and State supplemental funds.” Understanding School Finance and Categorical Funding, CDE, pg 14.

Criteria for Determining Exceptional Ability (Giftedness) or Talent Pool: For each category of giftedness: 95 percentile or above on a standardized nationally normed test or observation tool, or a rating on a performance assessment that indicates exceptionality/distinguished compared to age mates. Not meeting criteria on a single assessment tool shall not prevent further data collection or consideration for identification, if other indicators suggest exceptional potential as observed in a body of evidence. Criteria for screening assessments is a score range less than the 95-percentile ranking or results on observation/performance assessment tools as determined by the AU to determine referrals, further data collection and observation, and/or formation of student talent pools. CDE Rules for the Administration of Exceptional Children’s Education Act ICCR 301-8


Over the past 16 years, Colorado’s teacher salaries have declined by about $3,700 – a 6.8% decline.

During the same period, the U.S. Average teacher salary declined about $770 – a 1.8% decline.

Our thanks to the Colorado School Finance Project for their incredible efforts to provide these resources to our community,

We’ve worked hard in Jeffco to do more with less, but too many kids are not getting the support they need. Jeffco Schools faces more tough choices ahead due to limited state funding, the failure of ballot measures 3A and 3B and shifting enrollment. This only changes with your efforts.

What should you be doing right now? Sharing information with everyone you know! Eventually, we must put 3A and 3B back on the ballot, whether it passes or not depends solely on the community. Help us educate others!