House passes School Finance Act

Moffat County schools one step closer to additional funding

The Colorado House of Representatives passed the School Finance Act on Friday. It now goes to the Senate.

The House education committee amended the bill to include Gov. Bill Ritter's proposal to freeze property taxes before passing it onto the entire House.

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Ritter's plan would allow Colorado districts to keep an estimated $55 million for preschool and kindergarten programs and to bring the lowest-funded districts to minimum floor funding by locking property-tax rates.

As the lowest funded per pupil district in the state, Moffat County School District administrators have been working with legislators on a plan that would decrease the disparity between the state average per-pupil funding and the lowest funded districts.

Ritter's plan would provide the necessary funding for Moffat County's proposal.

Assistant Superintendent Joel Sheridan testified before the Senate education committee in mid-March. Superintendent Pete Bergmann carried a similar message to the House education committee Monday.

State Rep. Al White told Bergmann on Friday the Senate will likely decide on the School Finance Act on Monday.

However, Attorney General John Suthers said Friday the changes must be put to voters, The Denver Post reported.

Suthers contends that voters must decide issues that raise the property tax burden. The Denver Post reports that finding contradicts two other legal reviews.

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