School Budget Proposal Clears Hurdle In Colorado

April 9, 2014 10:15 PM

School Budget Proposal Clears Hurdle In Colorado
" DENVER (AP) — A $500 million package to start refilling Colorado school budgets decimated during the last recession cleared a major hurdle Wednesday in the state Legislature.

The two bills awaiting a final vote in the Colorado House aim to use the state’s improving tax collections to backfill K-12 school budgets. The measures raise per-pupil funding, give charter schools more funding and set aside money to help schools pay for full-day kindergarten.

“This begins the process of rebuilding K-12 funding that was struck hard” during the recession, argued Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Frisco and a sponsor of the bills.

The measures were approved on unrecorded voice votes that hardly reflected months of heated debate. Lawmakers generally agree that Colorado should hand much of its rebounding tax receipts to public schools. But there remains intense disagreement about how the money should be spent.

For example, one of the bills originally required school districts to reconfigure how they count pupils to qualify for state funding. Education groups howled that the change amounted to unnecessary red tape.

The student-count provision has been scrapped and replaced with a plan to study the matter "

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