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Colorado Schools Get Funding Boost


Budgets for Colorado schools are being finalized, and there's some good news.

Colorado's schools are reaping the rewards of a rising economy. 

"The state of Colorado is starting to recover," said Karen Slater, the Chief Financial Officer for the Montrose County School District.  The District will be receiving a million dollars more than last year.

The state "determines a per pupil funding for all Colorado students, and according to state law it will be increased by inflation," said Slater. 

State Amemndment 23 was passed in 2000, mandating that the per pupil funding increase to keep up with the rate of inflation.  With the recession, however, Colorado has been unable to increase the schools' funding. 

"They couldn't come up with the cash to fund us, so they said 'it was in there' but then came up with this factor called 'negative factor,'" said Slater. 

The negative factor is how much the state takes back.  It's a way to negate the cost, while still saying that the full funding was given out.  The negative factor is how much money should have been paid out, but isn't. 

"For the '13-'14 year," said Slater, "our negative factor was $7.1 million, so if we were operating in normal times without that factor, we would have $7.1 million than we do now."

For this next '14-'15 year, the Montrose County School District will have a negative factor of $6.1 million.  With Colorado now only withholding $6.1 million, the District will have a million dollars more than last year. 

This is calculated in the per pupil funding, so school districts with more students will recieve more money. 

"It's a step in the right direction," said Slater.