The Public School Finance Act of 1994 was enacted during the 1994 Legislative session with an effective date of July 1, 2004. The Act changed Colorado funding for public education to an individually determined district per pupil funding amount. Every school district will receive as a minimum a "base" dollar amount as stated in the Act. The base is then adjusted by three factors: 1) the district size, 2) the district cost of living , and 3) the district at-risk student population.
The size adjustment factor compensates districts for the economies of scale created by differences in district enrollments.
The cost-of-living factor is used to measure the relative differences in cost of living in school districts throughout the state.
An at-risk factor of 12.0 percent is applied to the student population qualifying for the federal free lunch program. As the concentration of this population increases, so does the funding.
In determining the number of students a district has for funding purposes, the students are counted on October 1 within the school district budget year.
Most districts' school finance revenue comes from both state and local sources. Property tax is the primary local source of funding. This local source will now include a portion of the school district share of specific ownership tax. State aid makes up the difference between these local sources and the district's total allotment.
Senate Bill 06-1375, enacted during the 2006 Legislative Session, provides several amendments to the Act:
¨ increases the state-wide base per pupil funding by 3.1 percent (2.1 percent inflation + 1 percent Amendment 23) from $5,689 to $5,865;
¨ the amount required to be budgeted and expended for instructional supplies and equipment, repair of instructional equipment, and cost of educational field trips increased from $167 per student in 2005-06 to $172 per student in 2006-07;
¨ the minimum amount to be allocated to Capital Reserve and Risk-Related Activity Funds increased from $271 per student in 2005-06 to $279 per student for 2006-07.
Aurora Public Schools' Per Pupil Funding is $6,595. This is a 3.5 percent increase from the $6,373 per pupil funding in 2005-06. Per Pupil Operating Revenues (PPOR) for the General Fund is $279 less at $6,316. The district will allocate $323 per student to Capital Reserve and Risk-Related Activity funds under the Act's provisions.