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May 23, 2024

SIGNED! 2024 School Finance Act to Pay Off Budget Stabilization Factor, Increase Education Funding to Historic Levels

AURORA, CO – Today Governor Jared Polis signed the 2024 School Finance Act, which sets funding levels for Colorado’s public school districts.

Sponsored by Senators Rachel Zenzinger, D-Arvada, and Janet Buckner, D-Aurora, and Representatives Shannon Bird, D-Westminster, and Barbara McLachlan, D-Durango, SB24-188 raises the base level of per-pupil funding by $780 to $11,450 per-pupil on average. This year’s School Finance Act increases total funding for public schools by more than $500 million to $9.7 billion and completely buys down the Budget Stabilization Factor, a longstanding goal that helps ensure Colorado students get the quality education they deserve.

"Fully funding our schools is one of the main reasons I ran for the state senate, and I am absolutely thrilled that the 2024 School Finance Act will make it happen,” Zenzinger said. “All our students deserve a quality education that meets their needs and prepares them for success. While we have much more to do to truly fully fund our schools, this year’s School Finance Act represents a great start, and will help reduce class sizes, increase teacher pay, and provide a world class education for our children and youth."

“After years of strategic budgeting and planning, the 2024 School Finance Act finally pays off the budget stabilization factor which means schools can increase teacher pay, reduce classroom sizes and better support our students living with disabilities,” said Bird. “This is a record-breaking increase of $780 per-pupil funding which brings the total per-pupil funding to more than $11,450 on average. My passion for public service began with the drive to fully fund our K-12 public schools and support our hardworking educators – this bill fulfills that promise and more to support each and every student in Colorado.”

“As Chair of the Senate Education Committee and a former educator, ensuring our schools and students have the resources they need is personal to me, and this year’s School Finance Act will do just that,” said Buckner. “By eliminating the Budget Stabilization Factor and fully funding K-12 education, we’re opening the door to so many more opportunities to improve our schools, support our teachers, and make Colorado the best state in the nation to learn and grow.”

“This year’s School Finance Act is historic because it fully eliminates the budget stabilization factor, increases per-pupil funding by nearly $780 on average and supports our rural school districts directly,” said McLachlan. “Our commitment to improving educational outcomes for each and every student is unwavering, and this year we’re stepping up to help recruit, retain, and support the educators who make all the difference in the education our kids receive. I’m beyond proud of our legislative efforts to drive resources to small rural schools and those who serve students with the greatest needs.”

Increased Funding for Rural Schools: Colorado’s small and large rural school districts often have a difficult time recruiting and maintaining a high-quality workforce needed to support Colorado students and school functions. In conjunction with legislation passed this year to update Colorado’s school funding formula, the 2024 School Finance Act eliminates rural school districts’ reliance on one-time funding, which makes it difficult for districts to plan ahead using multi-year budgets.

Ninth Grade Success Program: This important program helps ninth grade students with the skills they need to successfully reach tenth grade on-track, on-time and with their peers. This year’s School Finance Act increases funding for this program to support our students’ growth and educational trajectory.

Support for Students Living with a Disability: The 2024 School Finance Act amends the definition of “concurrent enrollment” to include students in special education. This means students living with a disability and those who receive transition services on their Individualized Education Program can access college-level courses for credit as well as some credential and apprenticeship programs to create stronger workforce pathways and opportunities.

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