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STATE BUDGET CUTS CONTINUE TO AFFECT EDUCATION: Colorado Education Officials Told to Expect Funding Cuts

In mid-November, the school finance chief for the Colorado Department of Education warned Colorado school districts that mid-year budget cuts in education are very possible as the state struggles to eliminate a $388 million shortfall. Jefferson public schools chief financial officer Ken Hoover told the Rocky Mountain News that his district has been told to expect a 1 to 2 percent cut in funding. Each 1 percent equals approximately $4.5 million.

While no cuts will be made until after state lawmakers convene in January, districts are preparing for the worst. Funding for K through 12 schools is roughly 40 percent of the state’s general fund-that’s $2.5 billion, or an increase of 7.5 percent over the previous year. If K through 12 education funding is left out of cuts, some estimates show that other areas of the state’s general fund would have to be cut by up to 15 percent. At the same time, Amendment 23, the constitutional change requiring that state school funding increase annually by inflation plus 1 percentage point, will probably play a big part in the debate over cutting funding and whether the amendment prohibits any cuts in education funding.

For more information, visit Rocky Mountain News

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