Colorado legislators plan to overhaul education funding system critics say disproportionately benefits wealthy districts |

Colorado legislators plan to overhaul education funding system critics say disproportionately benefits wealthy districts

Colorado school funding data analyzed by The Denver Post. The mill levy is the tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is $1 per $1,000 dollars of assessed value.
Kevin Hamm/The Denver Post

Colorado lawmakers who write the state budget say they have a plan to change how $8.6 billion is distributed for kindergarten through 12th grade, overhauling a system that critics say disproportionately sends state money to wealthy school districts while schools in poorer areas struggle.

If signed into law, voters in wealthy areas with low property tax rates would have to increase their property taxes to keep school funding at current levels. The state money saved would then get redistributed statewide. Poorer districts already paying relatively high property taxes would be among the top beneficiaries.

“This is going to be the legislature doing its job,” said state Rep. Bob Rankin of Carbondale, a Republican member of the Joint Budget Committee, which drafts the state budget.

Rankin is rounding up support from Democratic legislators on the JBC to tackle the ongoing issue of how Colorado pays to educate students. Democratic legislators Rep. Dominick Moreno of Commerce City, chairman of the JBC, and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger of Arvada, also a member of the JBC, say they plan to join Rankin’s push for an overhaul.

Read more at the Denver Post.

Editor’s Note: The Republican 8th Senate District Vacancy Committee nominated incumbent state Rep. Bob Rankin to complete the final two years of retiring Sen. Randy Baumgardner’s term. School finance was one of the issues upon which he spoke during the appointment process held in Craig on Jan. 2. 

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