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May 1, 2023

House Passes Record School Funding Bill

The 2023 School Finance Act invests a record $665 million more toward K-12 public education, commits to buying down the Budget Stabilization Factor in the 2024-25 school year

DENVER, CO – The House today passed the 2023 School Finance Act, increasing per pupil funding by $1,018. This record investment toward K-12 public schools also reduces the Budget Stabilization Factor by $180 million, mapping out a course to eliminate the Budget Stabilization Factor by the 2024-2025 school year. 

“Increasing funding for our schools is one of the smartest investments we can make because it sets our students on the path to success,” said Rep. Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango. “The 2023 School Finance Act reaffirms our commitment to our schools through a record-breaking investment of $665 million more, resulting in $10,614 per pupil. Every school district has different needs, which is why this legislation invests $30 million toward rural schools to help them recruit educators and support the enrichment courses that make education in Colorado well-rounded.”

“We’re committed to supporting our teachers and students and this year’s School Finance Act includes the largest buydown ever of Colorado's debt to our K-12 public schools,” said Rep. Cathy Kipp, D-Fort Collins. “Investing in our schools better prepares Colorado's next generation of leaders, and this legislation increases per pupil funding by nearly $1,100 and puts our state on a sustainable path to fully fund K-12 public schools in the next two years. Colorado needs a strong education system, and this bill invests in our schools so they can continue to prepare our students to thrive.”

2023 School Finance Act: SB23-287 passed the House by a vote of 52 to 10 and invests a record-breaking $665 million more in total program funding and raises the statewide average of per pupil funding by $1,018, equating up to $10,614 per pupil. It reduces the Budget Stabilization Factor by $180 million, while committing lawmakers to fully eliminating the Budget Stabilization Factor for the 2024-2025 school year.

With this funding, school districts can reduce class sizes, increase teacher pay, and provide individualized support to help students succeed. Additional allocations include:

  • $30 million specifically for large and small rural schools

  • $10 million toward special education preschool support

  • $1 million for gifted and talented universal screening for students 

  • $500,000 to support English language learning students and the translation of Individualized Education Programs program documents within special education

  • $300,000 to reimburse schools for expenses related to replacing an American Indian mascot

The bill will also create a task force charged with examining Colorado's public school financing system and making recommendations to improve the school finance formula to make it more equitable and student-centered. An additional study will explore what it takes to adequately provide a free and uniform public education for students in Colorado.

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