The Budget Conversation You Need to Watch and Participate In!

If you took the time to watch Dr. Glass’ FaceBook Live discussion on the budget,

you now have an idea of the tough decisions that will weigh on our school board members’ shoulders and how serious some of these cuts will be. They will have lasting effects on our students, schools, teachers & staff, and the entire Jeffco Community.

Hopefully you were able to tune in to the Special Jeffco School Board Study Session on Budget for “…development of the 2020/21 budget to address potential revenue adjustments, possible reductions, and use of reserves”

The Board of Education meeting can be watched online via streaming video here:

 

Here’s why this is so important:

In addition to the devastating impact on our health and daily lives, COVID19 is having a huge negative effect on our state’s budget, our local municipal budgets, and our school budgets.

Concerns have been shared that these budget cuts will run on par, and very likely far exceed, the cuts made during the Great Recession.  Some economic forecasts are expecting a state revenue decline for FY 2020 & FY2021 of $3.2B, the first of a multi-year event.  School districts are being told to expect cuts to funding this first year in a range of 1%-10%, and very possibly upwards of that.

Colorado School Finance Project https://cosfp.org/ just provided individual district numbers on what these cuts could look like based on current conversations at the JBC and Office of State Planning and Budget, etc.  Using 2019/20 data from the Colorado Department of Education, CSFP provided numbers at 5% cut, 10% cut and 15% cut.

Current Total Program after 7% BS Factor $688,124,433
With 5% additional cut $653,718,211 ($ 34,406,222)
With 10% additional cut $619,311,990 ($68,812,443)
With 15% additional cut $584,905,768 ($103,218,665)

 

Please remember, these are estimates and no final numbers have been issued to school districts.   Legislators will be reconvening next month.  Their top priority will be to finalize the Long Bill and School Finance Act.   That’s when our schools will know what kind of numbers they will be working with.

For comparison, in Jeffco during the Great Recession, in 2012 Jeffco was forced to make the following reductions:

  • Between 2009-10 and 2012-2013, the budget was reduced by $63,175,300 or 9%
  • Between 2009-10 and 2011-2012, 446.9 jobs were eliminated 
  • Between 2009-10 and 2012-2013, the Rainy Day Fund (Reserves) spent down by $73,000,000.  Without the fund, reductions would have been greater than $130,000,000.

Hopefully, this gives you some idea of the magnitude of the cuts and decisions our school board members and district leadership will be discussing.  This must be a community discussion, so please get engaged, and encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same.