Bringing Home The Bacon (To Jeffco Schools)
We are grateful to legislators for all their work in this legislative session. But this May 5th Chalkbeat article by Erica Meltzer, “In education, Colorado made big investments but not major policy changes”, pretty much sums it up.
“After describing a string of wins for education, Matt Cook, director of public policy and advocacy for the Colorado Association of School Boards, noted: “As good a year as we had financially — the best anyone can remember in a decade — we’re still short a half-billion dollars.”
“He was referring to a $572 million budget stabilization factor — the amount Colorado lawmakers withhold from schools to pay for other budget priorities, despite a constitutional requirement that education spending increase annually by population growth and inflation.”
To bring it all home to the local level, let’s take a look at what it means for our Jeffco Schools:
Legislature buy down of the BS Factor/Negative Factor of $100 million (statewide.)
Dropping it from $672 million to $572 million. (So yay, the state now owes public schools over a half a billion dollars per year.)
Jeffco’s share of the buy down dollars is $9.7 million
Full Day Kindergarten (FDK)
$17.5 million to Jeffco; after Charters ($2.3 million) = $15.2 million for non-charters
After making up for a loss of $6 million revenue for FDK tuition the district is currently receiving a backfill – to cover for At Risk students
Jeffco actually realizes a plus of $9.2 million
$22 million Special Education (Tier B)
This amounts to a $2 million increase for Jeffco. Students “placed out of district” cost Jeffco between $3 and $5 million per year. Jeffco is already running over $5 million this year. After figuring in other expenditures for the SPED Tier B in Jeffco, this allows Jeffco to return to a former level of service – back to 2 years ago. (This was covered during the May 2nd budget discussion.)
Because of additional costs of doing business for the district, Jeffco will also take a hit to this year’s budget:
$1 million increase in insurance premiums (apparently Jeffco is now classified as a high risk for hail and wind)
$1.3 million mandated increase in PERA
During the May 2nd budget discussions where the Board was asked to give direction to staff on budget decisions left board members struggling to find a 0.67% COLA for teachers.
May 2nd Budget Presentation to Board of Ed – https://www.boarddocs.com/co/jeffco/Board.nsf/files/BBSNA35EE9A3/$file/Presentation%20Proposed%20Budget%20BOE%2005%2002%202019%20revFDK.pdf
May 2nd Board Conversation Live Streamed budget conversation begins at 5:00:04 https://www.boarddocs.com/co/jeffco/Board.nsf/files/BBSNA35EE9A3/$file/Presentation%20Proposed%20Budget%20BOE%2005%2002%202019%20revFDK.pdf
Negotiations with JCEA are set to resume at a date to be announced in August, according to the district website.