September 22, 2012
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Vaughan: Funding reform for education key to avoiding future economic collapse in Colorado
Between fiscal years 2008 and 2010, Colorado’s general fund revenue declined by $1.3 billion, or 16.6 percent, as a result of the national economic downturn. Those declining revenues, coupled with rising program expenditures, resulted in significant budget shortfalls of $1.2 billion in fiscal year 2009, $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2010, $1 billion in fiscal year 2011 and $1 billion in fiscal year 2012. Because the Colorado Legislature is required by law to pass a balanced budget annually, many state funds have been cut drastically in recent years. For example, in fiscal year 2012, spending cuts included the closing of a state prison, a $230 million cut to K-12 education and an $81 million cut to higher education.