April 21, 2011
House Finds More Money for School Finance,
Passes Bill on Second Reading
This morning, the House of Representatives debated Senate Bill 230, the 2011 School Finance Act on second reading. As anticipated, the bill sponsor, Rep. Tom Massey, R-Poncha Springs, brought an amendment to provide more funding for K-12. The Massey amendment does the following:
1. Takes $22.5
million from the State Education Fund to decrease the 2011-12 cut to
school districts. With this money, the K-12 cut drops from $250 million
to approximately $228 million; and
2. Takes $67.5
million of the state revenues that will be collected in June -- above
what was anticipated in the March revenue forecast -- and transfers this
money to the State Public School Fund. The amendment states that it is
the intent of the General Assembly that these funds be used to fund
increases in student enrollment, increases to the number of at-risk
students being served or any loss in local property tax revenues. This
money would be received by school districts as part of the General
Assembly’s 2012 supplemental funding. As you may recall, the General
Assembly did not fund increases in enrollment or at-risk for the current
The legislature will not be working tomorrow so we anticipate the bill will be up for a final vote in the House on Monday. We do not anticipate further changes to the bill on Monday and do believe that the Senate and Governor’s office have agreed to the Massey amendments. Assuming this is the case, the next step will be for the Senate to adopt the House version of school finance and then send the bill to the Governor for signature.
Working with Rep. Massey and others, CASB’s advocacy effort was instrumental in introducing these additional dollars to the school finance mix. It’s not a done deal, but today’s action was a good sign, and we are optimistic about the final outcome. We will be sure to keep you posted as the bill climbs over these final hurdles.
For a complete listing of the bills CASB is lobbying, including defeated bills, visit Colorado Capitol Watch.