Senate Bill 2-206: An Act to Set a Foundation Budget Per Pupil

By: Phillip M. Montero Matthews

Senate Bill 2-206 aims to provide a foundation budget for each individual student enrolled at a respective school. In the text of section 1 line 1, a foundation budget is defined as, “being adequate spending level for a school based on an equitable combination of local property taxes and state aid.” The text goes on to say that “Currently, the budget is $8,100 per pupil, this proposal will increase spending minimum of $10,000 per pupil.” The bill uses this definition for what a foundation budget is to claim that its purpose is to increase/balance spending on and for education. Going on to explain that there has been a decline in the amount of money involved in this spending, since as far back as 2008. The bill states, that because of this, “Colorado’s education system is currently $800 million dollars in debt.” And that because of this several districts in the Colorado area have resorted to four-day long week days. Even with Colorado being one of the highest-ranking states in the country economically.

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Senate Voting. Photo by Cenon Caramanzana

The bill continues, saying that in the event that there is any left over money, all excess amounts of money from tax revenue will not be returned to the taxpayer(s). Instead this will be used for funding elsewhere in the school. Examples of these other funding pools are listed. For example, support for English-language learners, special education, extracurricular activities, etc. With this money, the education system in Colorado will not only be able to provide better funding for the students and staff, but also be able to begin paying for the millions in debt that it is currently in.

With this system in place, there is no penalty for failing to comply with the demands of this bill, however the to the nature of the bill, there will need to be more thought that goes on how much funding a school will need to receive from the state, in order to meet the 10,000 dollar minimum per student. This decision will be left up to the Legislative Council as well as the Office of State. The money for this funding requirement will be acquired by pooling both the state budget in addition to any excess tax revenue that would normal be rebated to the taxpayers.

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Students in Senate. Photo by: Cenon Caramanzana

In conclusion, this bill aims to enforce a Foundation Budget for all students in the state of Colorado. This budget will need to reach a minimum of 10,000 per student, and will be used in order to help students, staffs, and schools in receiving proper funding.

 

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