In Colorado, education is primarily funded through the School Finance Act. This law outlines that school districts receive a set amount of funding per student, or what’s called Per Pupil Revenue. This is our district’s main source of funding, accounting for approximately 82% of our General Fund revenue.
We received $10,034.16 per student for the 2023 - 2024 school year. Of the 178 school districts, we are in the bottom 5% for Per Pupil Revenue or what's called "floor funded."
How is Per Pupil Revenue Calculated?
Per Pupil Revenue is based on a calculation determined by the state legislature. Each year, the legislature sets the base amount all districts receive, and then there are additions based on our district’s cost of living, personnel costs, size, and number of at-risk, online, and / or ASCENT students. Learn More
How is Per Pupil Revenue Funded?
Per Pupil Revenue is funded through two sources: 1) local property taxes at the maximum 27 mills and 2) state revenue. Whatever portion of the state-determined Per Pupil Revenue our local property taxes don’t cover, the state provides the additional funding. As our assessed values grow, the local funding source provides more and the state side provides less. The total funding received does not change.
As stewards of taxpayer investment, transparency and accountability are important to us.
In accordance with the Colorado Public School Financial Transparency Act, our budget, audit reports, salary schedules, and more can be found on our Financial Transparency page.
Last, but certainly not least, each year our annual budget is prepared with and approved by our Board of Education in work sessions and regular meetings. Typically, this process begins in the spring and is approved in June. Meetings are open to the public, both in person and via livestream. Learn more on the Board of Education page.
Developer Impact Fees
New housing developments in our district must provide land for a school location, pay a cash-in-lieu fee to help offset the growth, or both. The amount of land or fee is determined by a calculation, as outlined in Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with our local municipalities.
Currently, the fee amount is set at $2,916 per single-family home. Changes to the calculation or fee amount can only be implemented through updates to the IGAs with each municipality and approvals by their respective governing boards. The funding received can only be used to purchase or prepare school sites. Revenue to build, operate, and maintain new schools is dependent upon taxpayer-approved funding.
Additional Funding Mechanisms
To address needs beyond what is provided by Per Pupil Revenue, there are two primary funding mechanisms available to school districts:
Bonds - Typically used to fund capital projects (school construction). Bonds have a set payback period, similar to a home loan.
Mill Levy Overrides - Typically used to fund operations (teacher salaries, operational costs, etc.). Mill levy overrides can be for a set period of time (sunset) or ongoing.
Both bonds and mill levy overrides are funding mechanisms supported by property taxes within our district boundaries, and require taxpayer approval to implement.
Budget Stabilization Factor
As a result of the Great Recession, the state legislature created the State Budget Stabilization Factor or the Negative Factor. This factor reduces the amount of funding school districts receive, as outlined by law, as a way to “balance” the state budget. Our district has lost $64.1 million in funding since the Budget Stabilization Factor went into effect, including $1.3 million for the 2023 - 2024 school year alone.
PROPERTY TAXES & VALUATIONS
Property values are revalued in odd years, which may have contributed to an increase in your 2023 property values. Assessed values increased by 38% in 2022 (property taxes payable in 2023). The previous mill for 2022 property taxes (payable in 2023) for the 2022 bond measure and mill levy override was 23.789. Assuming assessed value increases by 38% again in 2023 (payable in 2024), the projected mill would be 18.033, a reduction of 5.756 mills. The impact of the 2022 bond and mill levy override was less than anticipated due to the increase in property values and growth of the area. For more information on funding, growth, and the 2022 bond, visit our FAQs.
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