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Colorado Senate Bill 13-213, Public School Finance Act (2013)

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Back to Amendment 66: Colorado Funding for Public Schools

The bill would have created a new school finance act that would have been implemented if Amendment 66, which would have increased state revenue for funding public education, gained voter approval in November 2013. Amendment 66, however, was defeated. Thereby, SB 13-213 was not implemented.

This bill sharply divided the Colorado Senate by party, with every Democrat voting "yes" and every Republican voting "no."

The act would have started with a statewide base per pupil funding, increased each district's funding based on the number of at-risk pupils in the district, and multiplied the per pupil funding amount by the number of pupils enrolled in the district. These were also implemented by the current bill that would have been replaced by SB 213.

SB 13-213 differed from the existing act in the following areas:

  • Calculation of pupil enrollment;
  • Funding for preschool and kindergarten pupils;
  • Factors included in the formula for calculating total program;
  • The definition of at-risk pupils and the percentage increase in funding for at-risk pupils;
  • Minimum per pupil funding;
  • On-line pupil funding and ASCENT program funding;
  • Calculation of total program for and payment of state moneys to institute charter schools;
  • Calculation of state and local shares of total program;
  • Authorized mill levy overrides;
  • State moneys available to districts and institute charter schools in addition to total program;
  • Mid-year recalculation of total program for certain districts and institute charter schools;
  • Allocations of funding by districts to charter schools and other schools of the district;
  • Review of the return on the investment of funding and cost studies every 4 years;
  • Public financial reporting by districts and institute charter schools; and
  • State moneys for mid-year recalculation if funding for new and expanding district charter schools.[1]

The full text of the bill is below.

Voting and passage

The governor signed the measure on May 21, 2013.

First Senate vote:

April 2, 2013 vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 20 57.14%
No1542.86%
These results are from the The Colorado Capitol Watch website.

Second Senate vote:

May 1, 2013 vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 20 57.14%
No1542.86%
These results are from the the openstates.org website.

Support

Sponsors

Senate "Yes" votes

Opposition

Senate "No" votes:

Text of Bill

Note: Capital letters indicate new material that would have been added to existing statutes; dashes through words indicate deletions that would have occurred from existing statutes and such material not part of act.22-54.5-101.

SENATE BILL 13-213:

CONCERNING THE FINANCING OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND, IN CONNECTION THEREWITH, CREATING THE "PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE ACT."

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:

SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add article 54.5 to title 22 as follows:

ARTICLE 54.5

Public School Finance Act

PART 1

GENERAL PROVISIONS

THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE KNOWN AND MAY BE CITED AS THE "PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE ACT."

22-54.5-102. Legislative declaration. (1) (a) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS THAT:

(I) SINCE PASSAGE OF THE "PUBLIC SCHOOL FINANCE ACT OF 1994," ARTICLE 54 OF THIS TITLE, PUBLIC EDUCATION IN COLORADO HAS UNDERGONE A SUBSTANTIAL TRANSFORMATION THROUGH IMPLEMENTATION OF SIGNIFICANT EDUCATION POLICY ADVANCEMENTS, INCLUDING ADOPTION OF CONTENT STANDARDS AND ASSESSMENTS THAT ARE ALIGNED FROM PRESCHOOL THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION AND POSTSECONDARY EXPECTATIONS; ADVANCEMENTS IN MEASURING DISTRICT AND PUBLIC SCHOOL PERFORMANCE IN THE AREAS OF STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT AND ACADEMIC GROWTH; AND INCREASED USE OF TECHNOLOGY IN DELIVERING EDUCATION;

(II) DURING THIS SAME PERIOD, VARIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS AND STATUTORY FORMULAS HAVE LIMITED THE AMOUNT OF STATE AND LOCAL FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION, INCREASED THE BURDEN ON STATE REVENUES RELATIVE TO LOCAL REVENUES FOR FUNDING PUBLIC SCHOOLS, AND CREATED SIGNIFICANT INEQUITIES IN THE TAX BURDEN BORNE BY COMMUNITIES THROUGHOUT THE STATE;

(III) SECTION 2 OF ARTICLE IX OF THE STATE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. ESTABLISHING A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM INVOLVES SETTING THE ACADEMIC STANDARDS FOR ALL STUDENTS TO MEET, MAKING PRIORITY INVESTMENTS THAT ARE RATIONALLY RELATED TO ENABLING STUDENTS TO MEET THOSE STANDARDS, AND ESTABLISHING AND FUNDING A SCHOOL FINANCE SYSTEM THAT DIRECTS RESOURCES INTO THOSE PRIORITY INVESTMENTS.

(IV) A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM REQUIRES THAT ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS OPERATE UNDER THE SAME FINANCE FORMULA, AND EQUITY CONSIDERATIONS DICTATE THAT ALL DISTRICTS AND INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS ARE SUBJECT TO THE EXPENDITURE AND MAXIMUM LEVY PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE. A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM ALSO REQUIRES THE APPLICATION OF PAGE 2-SENATE BILL 13-213 INCREASED REVENUES TO ENABLE THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS TO PROVIDE ALL STUDENTS WITH THE NECESSARY AND APPROPRIATE INSTRUCTION, SUPPORTS, AND EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT THEY NEED TO CONTRIBUTE ECONOMICALLY AND CIVICALLY AS ADULTS IN SOCIETY.

(V) ALL STUDENTS ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, REGARDLESS OF THE TYPE OF PUBLIC SCHOOL IN WHICH THEY ARE ENROLLED AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THEY ARE ENROLLED IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL OF THE DISTRICT IN WHICH THEY RESIDE, AND ALL PUBLIC SCHOOLS, WHETHER THEY ARE INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS, CHARTER SCHOOLS OF A DISTRICT, SCHOOLS OF INNOVATION OF A DISTRICT, OR TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS OF A DISTRICT, SHOULD HAVE EQUITABLE ACCESS TO STATE AND LOCAL FUNDING;

(VI) LEGISLATION IN RECENT YEARS HAS CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THE GOAL THAT ALL DISTRICTS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS ENSURE THAT ALL COLORADO STUDENTS ARE ON TRACK TO ACHIEVE POSTSECONDARY AND WORKFORCE READINESS BY HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION. DEFICITS IN DISTRICT AND PUBLIC SCHOOL PERFORMANCE LEVELS INDICATE THE INABILITY TO ADEQUATELY SERVE KEY STUDENT GROUPS, INCLUDING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES, GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS, AT-RISK STUDENTS, AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS, AS WELL AS THE INABILITY TO ADEQUATELY ADDRESS AREAS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION, INCLUDING SCHOOL READINESS AND FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN. RECOGNIZING THESE INABILITIES, THIS ARTICLE MAKES THE ADDITIONAL INVESTMENTS THAT ARE REQUIRED TO GENERATE SIGNIFICANT IMPROVEMENTS IN SERVING THESE STUDENTS AND ADDRESSING THESE AREAS.

(VII) RECENT LEGISLATION HAS ALSO CLEARLY ESTABLISHED THE REQUIREMENT THAT ALL DISTRICTS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS ON ELIMINATING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND GROWTH GAPS, INCLUDING THE SIGNIFICANT GAPS THAT EXIST AMONG STUDENT GROUPS WHEN DISAGGREGATED BY RACE. RESEARCH DEMONSTRATES THAT THESE GAPS IN ACHIEVEMENT AND GROWTH TRANSCEND STUDENTS' ECONOMIC SITUATIONS, SUGGESTING THE NEED FOR SYSTEMIC CHANGE TO ENSURE THAT THE LEVEL OF SERVICES THAT A STUDENT RECEIVES IS NOT AFFECTED BY THE STUDENT'S RACE, RATHER THAT ALL STUDENTS, REGARDLESS OF RACE, HAVE EQUAL ACCESS, OPPORTUNITY, AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO ENROLL IN UPPER LEVEL AND ADVANCED PLACEMENT COURSES AND TO UNDERTAKE OTHER ACADEMIC CHALLENGES. AN IMPORTANT COMPONENT OF ELIMINATING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT AND GROWTH GAPS AMONG STUDENT GROUPS DISAGGREGATED BY RACE AND STRENGTHENING THE UNIFORMITY AND THOROUGHNESS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN THE STATE IS TO ENSURE THAT DISTRICTS AND SCHOOLS HAVE THE RESOURCES NEEDED TO DEVELOP, ATTRACT, AND RETAIN EDUCATORS, INCLUDING TEACHERS, PARAPROFESSIONALS, PRINCIPALS, AND ADMINISTRATORS, SO THAT THE RACIAL COMPOSITION OF THE FACULTY AND STAFF OF EACH DISTRICT AND PUBLIC SCHOOL REFLECTS THE RACIAL COMPOSITION OF THE STUDENT POPULATIONS SERVED IN THE DISTRICTS AND PUBLIC SCHOOLS; AND

(IX) TO ENSURE THAT THE STATE CONTINUES TO MAINTAIN A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF PUBLIC EDUCATION REQUIRES NOT MERELY PICKING A STATIC NUMBER FOR THE LEVEL OF FINANCIAL INVESTMENT BUT MAKING STRATEGIC AND TARGETED INVESTMENTS IN KEY AREAS AND CONTINUOUSLY EVALUATING THE EFFICACY OF THAT SPENDING IN GENERATING THE ACADEMIC OUTCOMES THAT ARE THE ULTIMATE MEASURE OF THE SUCCESS OF THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM.AN ONGOING ANALYSIS OF ANY ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE DEFICITS AND OF THE TARGETED FUNDING THAT MAY BE NEEDED TO REMEDIATE THESE DEFICITS WILL ENSURE THAT THE SYSTEM FOR FINANCING PUBLIC EDUCATION IN COLORADO IS AND REMAINS RATIONALLY RELATED TO ESTABLISHING AND MAINTAINING THE THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF FREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS IN THE STATE.

(b) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES THAT ENACTING THIS ARTICLE, IN CONJUNCTION WITH THE PASSAGE OF A CITIZEN-INITIATED STATEWIDE MEASURE TO INCREASE STATE TAX REVENUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING PRESCHOOL THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE PUBLIC EDUCATION, ARE NECESSARY AND CRITICAL FIRST STEPS TOWARD ACHIEVING THE ONGOING MAINTENANCE OF A THOROUGH AND UNIFORM SYSTEM OF FREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS. ACCORDINGLY, THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ARTICLE CONCERNING THE FINANCING OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR BUDGET YEARS BEGINNING ON AND AFTER JULY 1, 2015, APPLY TO ALL SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS ORGANIZED UNDER THE LAWS OF THIS STATE.

(2) FOLLOWING THE PASSAGE OF A CITIZEN-INITIATED STATEWIDE BALLOT MEASURE TO INCREASE STATE TAX REVENUES FOR THE PURPOSE OF FUNDING PRESCHOOL THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE PUBLIC EDUCATION, AND DEPENDING ON THE AMOUNT OF THE INCREASE IN STATE TAX REVENUES, IT IS THE INTENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY THAT ALL OR A PORTION OF THE INCREASE IN STATE TAX REVENUES BE APPROPRIATED AS FOLLOWS:

(a) ONE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO THE EDUCATION INNOVATION GRANT FUND CREATED IN SECTION 22-54.5-311 (9);

(b) EIGHTY MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY FOR DISTRIBUTION AS SPECIAL EDUCATION FUNDING PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-20-114 (1)(c);

(c) SIX MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO A STATEWIDE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EDUCATORS;

(d) SEVEN MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY FOR FUNDING FOR PROGRAMS FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS PURSUANT TO PART 2 OF ARTICLE 20 OF THIS TITLE, AT LEAST ONE MILLION DOLLARS OF WHICH MUST BE USED TO IDENTIFY GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS;

(e) FIVE MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO THE DEPARTMENT TO OFFSET THE COSTS INCURRED IN IMPLEMENTING A DATA SYSTEM TO IMPLEMENT THE AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP COUNT AND THE FINANCIAL AND HUMAN RESOURCE REPORTING SYSTEM DESCRIBED IN SECTION 22-44-105 (4);

(f) ONE MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY TO THE DEPARTMENT TO PROVIDE PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-2-142;

(g) ONE MILLION THREE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS ANNUALLY FOR DISTRIBUTION TO THE BOARDS OF COOPERATIVE SERVICES PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-5-122; AND

(h) ONE MILLION DOLLARS FOR MILL LEVY ELECTION ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-54.5-305.

(3) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FINDS THAT THE MONEYS APPROPRIATED FOR THE FOLLOWING PURPOSES WILL BENEFIT THE EDUCATION OF STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN THROUGH TWELFTH GRADE AND PARTICIPANTS IN PRESCHOOL PROGRAMS BY IMPLEMENTING EDUCATION REFORMS AND PROGRAMMATIC ENHANCEMENTS:

(a) DISTRIBUTING TEACHER AND LEADERSHIP INVESTMENT MONEYS PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-54.5-301 TO ASSIST DISTRICTS AND INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS IN IMPLEMENTING EDUCATION REFORM MEASURES;

(b) INCREASING THE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR AT-RISK PUPILS;

(c) INCREASING THE ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS;

(d) FUNDING ALL KINDERGARTEN PUPILS AS FULL-TIME PUPILS;

(e) FUNDING ALL ELIGIBLE THREE-, FOUR-, AND FIVE-YEAR-OLD PUPILS FOR PARTICIPATION IN THE COLORADO PRESCHOOL PROGRAM PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 28 OF THIS TITLE;

(f) FUNDING ALL SECONDARY STUDENTS AS FULL-TIME PUPILS;

(g) INCREASING THE FUNDING FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 22-20-114;

(h) INCREASING THE FUNDING FOR STUDENTS ENROLLED IN MULTI-DISTRICT ON-LINE SCHOOLS AND STUDENTS WHO PARTICIPATE IN THE ASCENT PROGRAM;

(i) INCREASING THE FUNDING FOR GIFTED AND TALENTED STUDENTS;

(j) DISTRIBUTING PER PUPIL SUPPLEMENTAL PAYMENTS PURSUANT TO SECTION 22-54.5-303 TO ENSURE THAT ALL DISTRICTS RECEIVE A MINIMUM LEVEL OF FUNDING;

(k) FUNDING THE EDUCATION INNOVATION GRANT PROGRAM CREATED IN SECTION 22-54.5-311;

(l) INCREASING THE SIZE FACTOR FOR DISTRICTS WITH FEWER THAN FOUR THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED STUDENTS;

(m) DISTRIBUTING HOLD-HARMLESS FUNDING TO DISTRICTS TO HELP ENSURE THEY RECEIVE FULL TOTAL PROGRAM FUNDING;

(n) MATCHING A PORTION OF THE VOTER-APPROVED INCREASES IN PAGE 6-SENATE BILL 13-213THE PROPERTY TAX MILL LEVY FOR DISTRICTS WITH LOW ASSESSED VALUATION;

(o) INCREASING THE FUNDING FOR CHARTER SCHOOL FACILITIES;

(p) FUNDING A MILL LEVY EQUALIZATION FACTOR FOR INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS TO RAISE THE FUNDING FOR INSTITUTE CHARTER SCHOOLS TO A LEVEL MORE COMPARABLE TO DISTRICTS;

(q) FUNDING A STATEWIDE PROGRAM TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR HIGHLY EFFECTIVE EDUCATORS;

(r) FUNDING THE IMPLEMENTATION OF A DATA SYSTEM THAT WILL SUPPORT THE DATA COLLECTION FOR AND CALCULATION OF AVERAGE DAILY MEMBERSHIP; AND

(s) FUNDING THE ELECTION COSTS INCURRED BY DISTRICTS THAT SEEK VOTER APPROVAL FOR AN INCREASE IN THE TOTAL PROGRAM MILL LEVY.

(4) THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY FURTHER FINDS THAT, IN ENACTING THIS ARTICLE, IT HAS ADOPTED A FORMULA FOR THE SUPPORT OF SCHOOLS FOR THE 2015-1

References