The Capitol Update

November 1, 2019

This afternoon, Governor Polis released his proposed 2020-21 budget, which includes a number of important investments in K-12 education. He will formally present it to the Joint Budget Committee on November 13.

It is important to note that while the Governor’s proposal sets the tone and officially starts negotiations about the next year’s budget, it is not the final word. The Joint Budget Committee will have discussion and present their own budget during the 2020 legislative session, and lawmakers will adopt a budget next spring.

Governor Polis’ proposal identifies his top budget priorities and includes some significant items for public education. Key components to be aware of include:
  • $27.6 million to expand the Colorado Preschool Program for low-income and at-risk children. This would eliminate the waitlist and fund half of all eligible early learners.
  • Buy-down of Budget Stabilization Factor by $40 million to 6.4% of Total Program Funding (down from a high of 16% in 2012-13).
  • $0.5 million for teacher recruitment efforts (based off the Cherry Creek School District model of concurrent enrollment and apprenticeship).
  • $0.5 million to improve teacher evaluation, including providing free evaluator training, support for the development of differentiated evaluation rubrics, and funding for innovative evaluation practices (including peer evaluations).
  • $3.5 million for school safety priorities, including a $3 million placeholder to fund bills emerging from the Interim Committee on School Safety.
  • $1.0 million to provide evidence-based supports to Improvement schools (current law specifies that only Priority Improvement and Turnaround schools are eligible for state funds).
  • $0.5 million to make continued improvements to SchoolView, with the goal of making data and information more accessible to parents.
In his proposed budget, Governor Polis identifies $238 million in savings, of which $73 million are General Fund savings. He is recommending a $31 million increase to the General Fund reserve, which would increase it to 7.50% from 7.25% (7.5% is the national average).

CASE will we share more detail in the coming weeks and after the formal budget presentation on November 13.

You can access the Governor’s complete 2020-21 budget proposal by clicking here.