State Charter School Funding Update

State Charter School Funding Update

Greetings, Mountain Song!

I am happy to report that on Tuesday evening, March 5, the Colorado House Education Committee voted 12-1 against Bill HB19-1190 that would have stripped CSI charter schools (of which Mountain Song is one) of Mill Levy Equalization funding.  Therefore, this funding has been preserved, and we should not be losing this income next year due to this bill. 

This funding was originally approved by the Colorado legislature in 2017 to help provide equity for state charter schools that do not receive the local Mill Levy funding that school districts do.  Mountain Song and other CSI schools, therefore, received $300 per pupil in a first step to equalize funding in relation to local districts. For example, District D-11 receives over $2600 per pupil in Mill Levy funding from local taxpayers — a $2300 difference per pupil to what we received.

So the defeat of Bill HB19-1190 will preserve the $300 per pupil funding for CSI schools, and efforts are underway to increase that funding an additional step next year and work toward greater parity with local districts.

Director of CSI, Terry Croy Lewis, arranged a strategic set of individuals from CSI schools to testify on Tuesday.  MSCS parent, Sean Cayton, and I, along with 3 other school leaders and parents/students, provided testimony before the committee.  If you know Sean, please thank him!! We waited many hours until this bill was considered – they had a very full docket. Terry Croy Lewis, Executive Director of the Colorado Charter School Institute, wrote the following:

“Without question, the CSI students, school leaders, board members, and parents were extremely persuasive in telling the Committee how much their CSI schools mean to them. Our speakers were authentic and incredibly moving.

Please join me in sharing our deepest appreciation to these speakers. Not only did they give powerful testimony, they also endured a long day of waiting to testify. One of our students, Sabrina Suarez from New Legacy Charter School, had her 20-month old child with her, so you can imagine how challenging it was waiting hours with a toddler. Her composure and patience were simply amazing. Way to go, Sabrina!”

The online educational news source, Chalkbeat, describes Tuesday’s vote in this article, with background story two weeks ago in this article for which I was interviewed.

Please watch for further updates on Mill Levy Equalization efforts.

Warmest wishes,

Teresa Woods

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