(April 19) – The annual school finance bill – the best news Colorado’s students have received in at least a decade – passed the House of Representatives tonight.

“We are prioritizing our woefully underfunded schools,” Rep. Brittany Pettersen told the House. “While I know we still have a lot of work to do, we have so much to be proud of.”

HB18-1379, sponsored by Rep. Pettersen, D-Lakewood, with Rep. Jim Wilson, R-Salida, passed tonight on a voice vote. The bill creates a detailed plan for the spending already approved in the 2018-19 state budget, which is awaiting Gov. John Hickenlooper’s signature.

The bill increases statewide per-pupil funding by $469 and includes $150 million for the biggest reduction of the “budget stabilization factor,” the state government’s arrears to Colorado’s 179 school districts, since that deficit began to accumulate in 2009, when the Great Recession forced the legislature to slash spending.

“We’re able to commit significant new funding to K-12 education this year,” Rep. Pettersen said. “That’s a win for everyone in our state because we’re investing in our most precious resource – the next generation of Coloradans. But it’s not enough. Colorado remains one of the lowest-ranking states for education funding, and addressing it will take a statewide solution supported by the voters.”

After a recorded vote, HB18-1379 will go to the state Senate.

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