Q&A on GSTC Initiative

  • CASB is committed to presenting factual information providing all viewpoints on the Great Schools, Thriving Communities ballot initiative, now Amendment 73. Please submit your questions regarding the ballot initiative and we will post responses below.

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  • Where can I find the blue book language on Amendment 73?

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    Ballot Information Booklet (Blue Book)

    The purpose of the ballot information booklet is to provide voters with the text, title, and a fair and impartial analysis of each initiated or referred constitutional amendment, law, or question on the ballot.  The analysis must include a summary of the measure, the major arguments both for and against the measure, and a brief fiscal assessment of the measure.  The analysis may also include any other information that will help voters understand the purpose and effect of a measure.

    Note: The 2018 Blue Book is the most recent blue book published by the Legislative Council Staff.
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  • With the proposed change to Gallagher, does our school district receive less money?

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    The Fiscal Impact Statement prepared by the Colorado Legislative Council Staff provides a detailed explanation of the change that would occur in this initiative. A couple of important points include:

    The measure only applies to property taxes levied by school districts. Property taxes levied by other local governments are unaffected by the measure. The calculation for the target percentage and the residential assessment rate will be determined by the assessed values used for all other local governments and is unaffected by the measure.

    - Setting the residential assessment rate at 7.0% (reduced from 7.2%) and the nonresidential assessment rate at 24% (reduced from 29%) for mills levied by school districts, the measure decreases local property tax revenue to fund P-12 public schools in FY2019-2020. However, under the School Finance Act, each district's local share is calculated first, and state aid makes up the difference between the local portion and the total funding need identified through the formula. 

    Resource documents for additional information:

    Fiscal Impact Statement for Initiative #93 (Colorado Legislative Council Staff)

    - School Finance in Colorado (Colorado Legislative Council Staff)


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  • What is the Great Schools, Thriving Communities initiative?

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    The initiative number is #93 and the campaign is called Great Schools, Thriving Communities.  The measure makes changes to the Colorado Constitution and state law related to funding for public education.

    Quality Public Education Fund. The measure creates the Quality Public Education Fund (fund) in the Colorado Constitution. Money in the fund is to be used to support and enhance the quality of preschool through twelfth grade (P-12) public education beginning in FY 2019-20. The fund will contain revenue from a proposed income tax increase, discussed below. Money in the fund is exempt from the TABOR revenue limit and must be used to supplement General Fund appropriations for P-12 public education as of the measure's effective date, adjusted each year for
    inflation up to 5 percent.

    Education spending requirements. Beginning in FY 2019-20 and until a new public school finance law that meets certain criteria is enacted by the General Assembly, money in the fund must be used to:
    • increase the statewide base per pupil funding for P-12 public education to $7,300;
    • increase state funding for the following programs by at least the following specified amounts over FY 2018-19 levels:
          " special education by $120 million;
          " gifted and talented programs by $10 million;
          " English language proficiency programs by $20 million; and
          " preschool funding by $10 million;

    The above increases are to be adjusted for inflation each year beginning in FY 2020-21.

    In addition, the measure expands the number of kindergarten and at-risk students that receive funding through the state's P-12 funding formula. Specifically, the measure requires that:
    • at-risk funding include students qualifying for reduced price lunch; and
    • full day kindergarten funding be increased from 0.58 percent to 1.0 per full time
    equivalent student.

    Resource documents for additional information:

    Fiscal Impact Statement for Initiative #93 (Colorado Legislative Council Staff)

    School Finance in Colorado (Colorado Legislative Council Staff)


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