Republican Bill to Fund Schools Passes Committee on Party Lines

DENVER--Today, the Senate Education Committee passed Senate Bill 296, the School Finance Act, carried by Senator Owen Hill (R-Colorado Springs), on a party-line vote.

The General Assembly is constitutionally required to fund public, K-12 education in Colorado.
The School Finance Act in its current form, sets school funding to the budget that passed the Senate on March 30. The bill increases per pupil funding for Colorado schools from $6,367.90 to $6,546.20, providing more resources for kids and teachers in classrooms across the state.
The proposal sets the base for total program funding for all Colorado K-12 schools at $6,585,800,182.
The bill was amended in committee to require that all public schools in Colorado receive an equitable share of per-pupil tax revenue, as well as revenue derived from property taxes.
Under current law, traditional district schools may withhold from charters, in addition to the funding earned through property taxes which traditional district schools are not required to share, 5 percent of per-pupil funding.
Colorado charter schools have experienced a 30 percent increase in enrollment since 2013, and tend to earn higher scores on state assessments than their district peers.
 
"Providing our kids and classrooms with the fair and equitable funding they need to not only succeed, but thrive, should not be a partisan issue," said Hill. "We have to work together to make sure we're putting our kids first. Senate Republicans are standing up for our students, ensuring our schools have all the resources they need, and prioritizing the brightest possible vision of our future; why aren't Democrats?" 
SB 296 now moves to a vote of the Committee on Appropriations. 
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