This morning, Education News Colorado previewed Senator Johnston’s plans to introduce legislation that will reform the state’s school finance system, which aims to better collect and distribute funds to Colorado schools.
Over the last several weeks, Senator Johnston has hosted meetings with stakeholders, known as the School Finance Technical Advisory Group, to work out the details of the reform proposal.
Johnston describes the effort as a way to begin dealing with both the inadequacy of school funding and the inequity in the way it’s distributed. “Our theory of change was that we were working toward a grand bargain to build a 21st century school system,” he says.
The proposal’s outline includes: a funding increase to early childhood and special education programs, the elimination of the legislative device that has been used to cut K-12 funding by more than $1 billion in recent years, an adjustment to funding weights that currently give some districts extra funding over more at-risk districts, a change in how student enrollment is tallied to produce a more accurate count, and the creation of an “innovation fund” to help districts produce homegrown education reforms.
“We have a fundamental problem with adequacy, and we don’t provide an equitable system,” [Johnston] said last week. “Solving both of those problems ought to be our work.”
Senator Johnston plans to introduce the bill at the start of the 2013 legislative session, which begins on January 9. Click here to read more from Ed News Colorado. If you’d like to share your thoughts, click here.