JBC Dems Defeat Republican Effort to Pull $103.9 Million From School Funding
 
(Jan. 31) – Democrats on the Joint Budget Committee have beaten back a Republican effort to divert more than $100 million from K-12 education.
 
Tuesday afternoon, while considering whether to adjust the current 2017-18 fiscal year budget to account for increases in property tax valuations that boosted the local share of K-12 revenue by $103.9 million, JBC Republicans proposed to yank an equivalent amount from state funding for schools and move it into the general fund. Democrats blocked the move.
 
“State support for our K-12 education system is running more than $800 million below where the voters of Colorado have told us they want it to be,” said Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, the chairwoman of the JBC. “This year’s state allocation is already budgeted for our underfunded schools, and that’s where it should stay.”
 
The Republicans didn’t stop there.
 
Because pupil and special education counts came in slightly lower than expected, the JBC was left with a $12.9 million budget overage for K-12 for the current fiscal year. Democrats tried to leave the money in the education fund, where it would have provided a modest $8 increase in per-pupil funding. But GOP members of the JBC defeated that motion – then crowed about it. Sen. Kevin Lundberg, R-Berthoud, a JBC member, took to Facebook to describe the denial of school funding as “a significant victory of the day for our side.”
 
“The Republicans have tipped their hand,” said Rep. Dave Young, D-Greeley, who also sits on the JBC. “We can expect a sustained attack on education funding as Republicans try to strip money from K-through-college, making success less attainable for an entire generation of Coloradans.”

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