Director of Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 18, 2023
Colorado Students, Educators, and Schools Win Critical Statewide Investment
School Finance Act Earmarks $150 Million in B.S. Factor Buydown
DENVER, CO – Over the past few months, thousands of Colorado educators have signed petitions, called and emailed their elected officials, talked to legislators at the Capitol, and shared what an underfunded education system has meant for them and their students. The School Finance Act released today shows that our legislators listened.
The 2023-2024 School Finance Act buys down the B.S. Factor by $150 million – a figure that is more than four times the estimate outlined in Governor Jared Polis’ initial budget proposal. This is a monumental victory for Colorado educators, students, and communities and a critical infusion of funding for our public schools.
Amie Baca-Oehlert, high school counselor and president of the Colorado Education Association, said, “I’m incredibly proud of our members and leaders, who sacrifice so much every day, and who speak up for our students and the funding they deserve.”
Some highlights of the School Finance Act include:
- $150 million dedicated to buying down the Budget Stabilization Factor; and a public commitment to fully buy down the Budget Stabilization Factor in 2024
- $30 million of additional funding for rural schools
A new task force to study the modernization of the School Finance Act
- An adequacy study, tasked with determining how much funding is needed to provide all Colorado students with an exemplar education
This School Finance Act is just the latest in a legislative session that has been replete with wins for educators and their supporters. On Monday, the CEA celebrated the passage of SB23-111, the Public Employees’ Workplace Protections Bill, in the Senate. This bill will ensure educators and public workers are afforded the same critical workplace protections that the private sector has had access to for decades. Additionally, last month, Governor Polis signed the Interstate Teacher Mobility Compact bill, a bill led by CEA members in the legislature that will add more qualified educators to our schools by removing bureaucratic hurdles.
Said Baca-Oehlert, “It’s clear our 39,000 educator members made an indelible impact this session. Hundreds of educators took hours and days out of their crowded schedules to text, email, call, and travel across our state to share their stories with our legislative leaders. We are grateful to the legislators who introduced a School Finance Act that shows they listened to the pleas of our dedicated educators.”
Baca-Oehlert continued, “These legislative wins are encouraging, and CEA members should be so proud of our united efforts. These investments will go a long way to providing needed funding for our education system. But our schools have been underfunded since the Great Recession to the tune of $10 billion. In order to create the public education system that our students need and deserve, we need a far larger, more far-reaching fix.”
“Colorado’s future depends on enacting a long-term, systemic change to provide additional revenue sources for our public school system. Until such change is enacted, our schools, our educators, our students, and all Coloradans will continue to be short-changed. The only way to ensure we have the education system worthy of our students and educators is to dedicate ourselves to a sustainable long-term investment.”
About the Colorado Education Association
The Colorado Education Association is the voice of 39,000 educators, working together in a strong union to ensure all students get the exceptional public schools they deserve, in every neighborhood across the state. As Colorado’s largest labor union, CEA works collectively with all education stakeholders to ensure Colorado’s standing as an excellent state in which to learn, live, work, and raise a family.
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