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April 17, 2015
Dear BVSD Weekly Legislative Update reader:

ONLY 19 DAYS LEFT IN SESSION AS 2015 CLOCK IS RUNNING ON PK-12 KEY LEGISLATION & SCHOOL FINANCE

Time continues to slip away on the First Regular Session of the 70th Colorado General Assembly. Bills concerning state student assessment reform are moving but a consensus on this key issue has yet to fully develop. Student data privacy protection legislation (Senate Bill 173) has passed the Senate and is before the House Education Committee for action.

On another front, the proposed state budget for the 2015-16 state fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) is moving through the legislature while the 2015-16 amendments to the Colorado School Finance Act (Senate Bill 267) were introduced this week. SB 267 cleared the Senate Education Committee unamended and is now before the Senate Appropriations Committee. The bill factors in a projected enrollment growth of approximately 11,000 students statewide and a cost of living increase for the 2015-16 state fiscal year pegged at 2.8 percent. Added to the normal increase for projected growth and inflation is an additional $25 million statewide (approximately $875,000 to BVSD) to further buy down the negative factor now determined annually to be approximately $890 million statewide ($31 million to BVSD). The negative factor is what was applied to the annual school finance act amendments during the Great Recession to account for the difference between what Colorado K-12 education should have received according to Amendment 23 of 2000 and the actual revenue available according to legislators. Nearly every one of Colorado's 178 school district superintendents have signed a letter urging $270 million ($70 million dedicated to high needs students) in additional funding to further buy down the annual impact of the legislature's negative factor in the under funding of Colorado K-12 education. 

Several readers of this newsletter have commented over the years just how difficult it is to understand the key issues surrounding our state's funding approach to public schools. If you or anyone you knows feels this way, I have an excellent suggestion. Go to the Great Education Colorado website. Once there, click on "Statistics & FAQs" which contains all the information that anyone getting started advocating for adequate Colorado public education funding will need.

On Tuesday, April 14, the Boulder Valley School District Board of Education unanimously passed Board Resolution 15-06 (embedded below) calling upon the Colorado General Assembly and Governor Hickenlooper to make further buy down of the negative factor a higher priority this session.

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ChalkbeatCOLORADO​ covers PK-20 education issues throughout Colorado including one of the most in-depth and accurate PK-12 daily news to be found anywhere during the session. 

This week, BVSD Communications draws your particular attention to a April 16 story by reporter Todd Engdahl entitled,​ "Senate Education passes "very small" K-12 funding bill."


Current update on bills currently supported, opposed and monitored by BVSD.​

Each year the Boulder Valley Board of Education approves a legislative platform that sets the district’s legislative priorities and guides the BVSD contract lobbying firm, Policy Matters, LLC, led by veteran lobbyists Tanya Kelly-Bowry and Ernestine Mondragon. BVSD’s effort is overseen by Superintendent Bruce Messinger and Communications and Legislative Policy Director Briggs Gamblin. School board members Tina Marquis of Boulder and Jennie Belval of Broomfield serve as the seven-member school board’s legislative liaisons. 

A list of legislators whose districts are wholly or partially within the boundaries of BVSD. ​

View the Legislative Update homepage for access to past issues. If you have any comments or questions, please contact me at briggs.gamblin@bvsd.org​.​​​​​​