CSFP Video

The Colorado School Finance Project is at it again with a video series to help educate the people of Colorado about the issues surrounding education funding. The Colorado Did You Know 2017 video is below:

In case you don’t have time for the entire video – the key points in the video have been transcribed for you below:

Colorado adds between 8,000 and 10,000 new students every year.

Colorado is responsible for educating approximately 900,000 students every year in 178 school districts and the Charter School Institute.

Between 30% – 40% of our students require additional services.

Colorado funds our students based on historical funding or what is available.

Funding is not based upon what is needed for all students to reach the graduation goals established by the state.

Colorado funds our students over $2,600 below the national average.

Colorado spending facts:

  • $2,685 per pupil below the national average.
  • Colorado ranks 41st in per pupil spending.

Colorado’s funding for students with special needs is not based on any quantifiable analysis of student need. It is based only on historical funding or what is available.

Funding facts for students requiring additional services:

  • Funding for students in special education covers only about 30% of the costs.
  • Funding for students learning English covers less than 30% of the costs.
  • Funding for Gifted and Talented students provides only enough to cover the costs for GT assessments.

In 2010-2011, the legislature created the “Negative Factor” due to the budget challenges Colorado faced.

  • In 2017-2017, the Negative Factor is projected to be about $828.3M+.
  • The Negative Factor reduces funding to districts and students, forcing cuts and reducing options for students.
  • Currently, the state has no plan to eliminate or pay back the debt owed to its students.

The Negative Factor by school year:

  • 2010/11 – $381M
  • 2011/12 – $774M
  • 2012/13 – $1.001B
  • 2013/14 – $1.004B
  • 2014/15 – $880.1M
  • 2015/16 – $830.7M
  • 2016/17 – $830.7M
  • 2017/18 – $828.3M+ projected

The Negative Factor impacts each district/student differently.

The Negative Factor forces districts to reduce spending to balance budgets.

Over the past 7 years, what have districts cut or eliminated to balance budgets?

  • Increased class sizes.
  • Cut teachers and staff.
  • Eliminated technology updates.
  • 4 day school weeks.
  • Cut building and bus maintenance.
  • Reduced/froze salaries.
  • No updates for out of date learning materials.
  • Spend down reserves (drain savings.)
  • Fewer learning opportunities for students.
  • Closed schools.

As the Negative Factor continues to function as a way to balance Colorado’s budget, what are some options school districts have to continue reducing spending to balance their budgets?

  • Increase class sizes.
  • Cut teachers and staff.
  • Eliminate technology updates.
  • 4 day school weeks.
  • Limit and cut building and bus maintenance.
  • Reduce/freeze salaries.
  • No updates for out of date learning materials.
  • Spend down reserves (drain savings.)
  • Fewer learning opportunities for students.
  • Closed schools.
  • Reduce/cut teacher professional development.
  • Fewer days in school.

Districts on 4 day school weeks:

  • All schools/students in district on 4 day school week – 77 districts
  • Multiple schools in district on 4 day school week – 5 districts

Graduating from high school is vital to both our students and Colorado’s future. How does Colorado’s 4 year graduation rate compare to the U.S. average?

  • U.S. – 83%
  • Colorado – 77%

Colorado’s graduation ranking:

  • Colorado ranks in the bottom five states.
  • Colorado ranks below the U.S. average in every category.

To thrive, our children and communities need:

  • Vibrant public schools with qualified, well-prepared, culturally competent teachers for every student.
  • Learning opportunities that meet the needs and curiosity of every child.
  • Individual attention, support & mental health service that ensure no child’s future is defined by depravations, challenges, or trauma.

Looking to Colorado’s future:

  • Enrollment projected to increase by 8,000 to 10,000 students annually.
  • Colorado needs a well-educated citizenry and work force.
  • Our school finance system was designed in 1994. It need updating to reflect the needs of today’s students.

Paying for educational excellence:

  • More money – well-spent – improves student education.
  • Modernizing Colorado’s 1994 school finance act is a critical first step.
  • Colorado must create and support K-12 opportunities for all our students so they are college/workforce ready.

K-12 students need Colorado’s financial support.

http://www.cosfp.org/