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Future Funding FAQs

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Don't schools have enough money? We voted for more funding in 2012, where did that money go?

Schools in Colorado rank 45th in the nation in per-student funding. The 2012 "warm, safe, and dry" bond and mill levy override was much appreciated; the funds were invested in capital improvements at almost all our schools. The mill levy override helped stop further reductions planned for FY 2014 and restored lost work days for staff.

 

We give you a lot of money, what are you doing with it?

We spend public education dollars on the people, services, and materials that make educating our students possible. All public schools in Colorado follow mandatory financial transparency laws, including Jeffco Public Schools. We also go a step further and have all our financial information available online. Our biggest expense is people: teachers, paraprofessionals, administrators, food service workers, bus drivers, custodians, and more. These are the people who teach our kids, who keep our schools operating, and keep our schools safe. Competitive compensation and benefits are one of the key factors to attracting and keeping quality employees who serve our students and community.

 

Why not cut central staff and give more funding to the teachers who need it?

Central services have been cut several times in the last decade. Jeffco Public Schools spends about 4% of the compensation budget on central administration. Further cuts to central services will not result in the scale of dollars necessary to make impactful compensation and staffing additions to put buildings and every cut reduces support to schools.

Jeffco Public Schools spends less on central administration than many surrounding districts. Dr. Glass published an On the Issues report on this last October.

Central services includes support for all schools in areas such as special education, gifted and talented, curriculum, human resources, student services (counseling, diversity), English language learners, food service, security, transportation, legal services, building maintenance, IT, and more. Only about 0.46% of the compensation budget, or $2 million, of our $714 million general fund goes towards executive-level administration (chiefs and executive directors). Seventy percent of the general fund supports instruction.

 

Where is all the pot money? Doesn't it fix the school funding shortage?

Some of the state tax revenue from retail marijuana sales funds state education grant programs, but "pot money" is never going to be adequate to fix public school funding.

The entire state is eligible to apply for $40-60 million of school grant funds each year. Jeffco has received $2 million since the inception of marijuana funding. This is less than 0.3% of Jeffco's general fund annual budget for 2017/18. Here are a couple of news stories that illustrate where the money goes:


What is the Budget Stabilization Factor (formerly known as the Negative Factor)?

The state legislature enacted the Negative Factor in 2010 to help balance the state budget during the recession. It essentially cuts the amount of funding to public K-12 education that is spelled out in state law (Amendment 23). Since 2010, Jeffco Public Schools has been underfunded $642 million compared to pre-recession levels. For this current budget year alone, our schools are being underfunded $75 million compared to pre-recession levels.

 

What is Amendment 23?

Amendment 23 was a state constitutional change passed in 2000 to reverse a decade of budget cuts experienced by Colorado school districts throughout the 1990s. The law was only followed through 2009; then the Negative Factor was imposed.

 

Explore more information about a potential bond and/or mill levy on the 2018 ballot

 

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Bond Information
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Mill Levy Information
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Amendment 73
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Facility Facts Sheets

 

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