School Finance Technical Advisory Group Hosts National Expert Ken Wong
Colorado’s school financing method was explored in depth Tuesday in the first working meeting of a school finance technical advisory group convened by Sen. Mike Johnston and the Colorado Children’s Campaign. Professor Ken Wong, director of Brown University’s graduate program in Urban Education Policy and chair of the university’s Education Department, was a primary architect of a new financing formula in Rhode Island. That 2010 reform passed with bipartisan support in both chambers of the Rhode Island Legislature.
Professor Wong commended the progress Colorado has made in creating a new financing model for our schools. While Rhode Island is different in many ways, Wong said his work can help us explore the needs of our students, including those with disabilities, English language learners and at-risk students. Many of the stakeholders in the room acknowledged the unique issues Colorado faces, including constitutional limits on new revenue and that our diverse population of students and communities must be taken into account as we move forward in creating a new school financing system that better serves all students.
This was one in a series of meetings that are helping advance school finance reform. The next meeting of the technical advisory group will be Thursday, Oct. 25 from 9 a.m. to noon at History Colorado, 1200 Broadway in Denver. Representatives from the Colorado Department of Education and the Office of Legislative and Legal Services will guide the group as we address special education funding. We hope that you can be a part of this meeting as we know the needs of special education students are unique.
To follow ongoing discussions among the members of the group, we welcome you to join us online at Hope Street. If you already have log-in information, click here. If you’d like to sign up, contact Hanna Nichols at firstname.lastname@example.org or (303) 620-4573.
Continue to look for ongoing updates in KidsFlash and on the Children’s Campaign’s website in the weeks ahead. Updating Colorado’s School Finance Act to ensure every child in every community gets the education they need is most powerful when we work together.