Politics

Government. Jared Polis signs bill to preserve school funding amid the challenges of the pandemic


This story was originally published by Chalkbeat Colorado. More in chalkbeat.org.

Written by Jason Gonzales Colorado chalk

Colorado school districts would receive some subsidies under a bill signed into law by Gov. Jared Police Monday.

Under normal circumstances, Colorado schools Funded on the basis of registration. The Legislation approved by the police Ensures that school districts in Colorado will receive the money they originally expected for 2020-21 academic year despite a decrease in the number of students attending about 30,000 students, representing a decrease of 3.3% in enrollment rates.

The law also sends millions to rural school districts to meet the unique needs of small and isolated schools.

Lawmakers swiftly approved the bill this year, which represents one of the first major pieces of legislation in education legislation to see a police signature. Julie McCluskey, a sponsor of the bill and vice chair of the Joint Budget Committee, a Democrat from Dillon, said lawmakers are doing their best to put students, teachers and parents at the center of the pandemic recovery.

“This financial support protects schools across our state from catastrophic budget cuts at the worst possible time,” McCluskey said in a press release.

Every year, Colorado bars millions of schools to pay for other priorities. This amount, known as a budget stabilizer, grew to $ 1.2 billion this fiscal year due to significant economic instability last spring. The bill reduces that amount by $ 121 million. The Colorado K-12 budget is roughly $ 7.2 billion.

Colorado will also send an additional $ 60 million to school districts $ 41 million to offset lost local tax revenues and another $ 19 million for regions that have seen a significant drop in enrollment or that have seen a significant drop in the number of students living in poverty.

Education officials do not believe that child poverty has actually decreased. Instead, they believe fewer families have filled out the papers for federal lunch subsidies because schools have not ordered them this year. For this reason, legislators decided to maintain funding based on the number of former students.

Rural areas will receive an additional $ 25 million in the new nicotine tax that voters approved in November.

Barbara MacLachlan, the chair of education in the House of Representatives and a Democrat in Durango, said in the press release that lawmakers recognized that teachers and students were among the hardest hit by the pandemic.

“Building back stronger means making major investments in education and working to give our schools the funding they need to get back on the right track and start closing the education gap about the Coronavirus,” said McLachlan.

Lawmakers also operate in Colorado Complex tax changes that can bring in more money For K-12 over time. Meanwhile, Colorado schools also expect to see A. A large infusion of money from the US bailout, 20% of which should be used to make up for learning time lost during the pandemic.

Chalkbeat is a non-profit news site that covers educational change in public schools.

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