Landmark School Finance Modernization Heard in House Education Committee

Educators, advocates and business leaders urge passage of Senate Bill 213

Contact: Tara Manthey
Title: Communications Director
Phone: (720) 256-1312
Email: tara@coloradokids.org

Landmark School Finance Modernization Heard in House Education Committee

Educators, advocates and business leaders urge passage of Senate Bill 213

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 15th, 2013

Denver, CO – A landmark effort to modernize Colorado’s school financing system took a significant step forward today as a diverse mix of educators, business leaders, and advocates urged the House Education Committee to pass Senate Bill 213, the Future School Finance Act.

The bill—sponsored by Sen. Mike Johnston, D-Denver, Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, and Rep. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon—is based on the recommendations of the School Finance Partnership, a broad coalition of education and business stakeholders convened by the Colorado Children’s Campaign. The group met for nearly two years to reach full consensus on the best way to modernize education financing to ensure Colorado’s students succeed.

“We currently have drastic disparities in per pupil funding across districts through a formula that was designed for equity,” Rep. Hamner told the committee. “Senate Bill 213 modernizes the way we fund education, redesigns the funding formula so we can better achieve the outcome of equity and recognizes that it is more expensive to educate some students who are at-risk or speak English as a second language. It provides investments in strategies that are proven to make a difference, helps us prepare more children for success in education and life and creates an innovation grant program to support local approaches to improving achievement.”

Kelly Brough, President and CEO of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, said her organization supports the bill for many reasons, including that it creates a system of tremendous transparency and accountability, focuses investments in early years and drives schools to attract and keep students in school.

“We have devoted so much time to this issue because Colorado’s economy depends upon us delivering a workforce that can meet the economic needs of our future,” Brough said. “We only have five years to increase the number of college graduates we have in our workforce by 20 percent.”

Speaking in support of the bill today were business leaders, superintendents from across the state, teachers, charter school leaders, early childhood advocates, education reform advocates, minority and social justice organizations and many more. They all agreed that Colorado must create a more equitable, sustainable and sufficient education financing system in order to move our education system in the 21st century.

“This bill provides what I believe is the most significant opportunity in a generation for our students,” said Chris Watney, President and CEO of the Colorado Children’s Campaign. “The reason it is so significant is because it provides the opportunity to link Colorado’s education funding with the principles of achievement, accountability and fairness that have been laid out in other policies and that our children deserve.”

Read more about the bill at here or at http://www.mikejohnston.org/schoolfinance2/.

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About Colorado Children's Campaign


The Colorado Children’s Campaign is a nonpartisan, nonprofit research and advocacy organization focused on improving the quality of and expanding access to child health, K-12 education and early childhood experiences. For more information, please visit www.coloradokids.org.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tara Manthey at (720) 256-1312 or email Tara at tara@coloradokids.org.