Colorado Children’s Campaign applauds proposed changes to school funding formula

Contact: Jackie Zubrzycki
Title: Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 2152084693
Email: jackie@coloradokids.org

Colorado Children’s Campaign applauds proposed changes to school funding formula

PRESS ADVISORY

April 12th, 2024

The Colorado Children’s Campaign strongly supports the new school funding formula proposed in HB24-1448.  

“Colorado kids need a sustainable school finance formula that reflects and meets their real needs in 2024 and beyond,” said Heather Tritten, President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “With this proposal, Colorado has the opportunity make sure that every child has what they need to thrive – and that our public school system is more equitable and more effective than ever before.”  

Colorado has not updated its school funding formula since 1994. The existing formula has resulted in the state sending more money per pupil to some of Colorado’s most well-resourced school districts than to districts where students face the most barriers to educational opportunity.  

Without adequate funding, schools face difficulty hiring and retaining staff, paying for updated materials and technology, and maintaining safe, welcoming school buildings—all elements of a high-quality education that every student deserves. 

HB24-1448, which draws from the recommendations of the School Finance Task Force and is sponsored by Speaker Julie McCluskie, Assistant Majority Leader Jennifer Bacon, Minority Leader Paul Lundeen and Joint Budget Committee Vice Chair Rachel Zenzinger, would ensure that Colorado’s K-12 education funds are supporting students living in poverty, students learning English, and students with special education needs. The new formula also accounts for the special resource needs of Colorado’s small rural school districts. The proposal lays out a phase-in approach for the increased spending that the state can comfortably and sustainably afford. 

“A student-centered funding formula is a research-backed way to make a difference for kids’ academic achievement and well-being,” said Madi Ashour, Director of Youth Success at the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “If we pass this bill, I believe we will see a Colorado where more kids are thriving at school, regardless of their ZIP code, background, or learning needs. Kids can’t wait, so neither should we.” 

Data analysts at the legislature estimate that the new formula would mean:

  • 97% of Colorado school districts would receive more funds beginning in 2025.
  • 824,800 Colorado kids would receive more funding for their schools beginning in 2025.

And, after the formula is fully implemented:

  • $380 million in additional funds would support multilingual learners and at-risk learners each year.
  • $250 million in additional funds would go toward rural schools each year.
  • $280 million in additoinal funds would support special education learners each year.

The Colorado Children’s Campaign has advocated for a more student-centered approach to school funding for more than a decade. Most recently, the organization supported SB23-287, which created the School Finance Task Force. 


Data and resources: The Children’s Campaign is available to provide data and resources about the potential fiscal impacts of the new formula on local school districts across the state and to discuss the implications of the new formula for schools and students. 

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization committed since 1985 to realizing every chance for every child in Colorado. We advocate for the development and implementation of data-driven public policies that improve child wellbeing in health, education and early childhood. We do this by providing Coloradans with trusted data and research on child wellbeing and organizing an extensive state-wide network of dedicated child advocates. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Jackie Zubrzycki at 2152084693 or email Jackie at jackie@coloradokids.org.