HB 17-1375 (Pettersen & Sias) Distributing Mill Levy Override Revenue to Schools
This compromise bill took the place of SB 17-061 (Additional Funding Charter School Operating Costs), which died this week in the House Education Committee. The bill requires school districts that collect local revenue from mill levies to develop a plan to share funds equally, or to distribute 95 percent of per pupil amount to innovation or charter schools in the district beginning in the 2019-20 budget year. It also requires innovation districts and charters to post certain financial documents, a list of waivers they have received from the State Board of Education and (for waivers that are not automatic) how they intend to meet the intent of the waived statute. The bill creates the Mill Levy Equalization Fund for schools chartered by the Charter School Institute, which is subject to annual appropriation.
The Colorado Children’s Campaign strongly supports this bill. The bill ensures all public school students receive access to the same basic level of funding. Charter schools are public schools, yet in many districts in Colorado, charter students receive a smaller portion of funding than students in other schools. Tax revenue collected from all taxpayers in a school district should benefit all public school students in that district, regardless of school type.
The bill passed the third reading in the Senate on a bipartisan vote of 31-4 and now heads to the governor’s desk for signature.