Colorado Passes Historic Bill Granting Charter Public School Students Equitable Access to Local Funding Stream

Nationwide Charter School Students Receive on Average 29 Percent Less Funding Than Their District School Peers, Colorado Funding Gap Estimated at 21 Percent.

Today, the Colorado General Assembly passed historic legislation, HB 1375, which grants charter public school students equitable access to local tax dollars raised through mill levy overrides for the first time in any state. Todd Ziebarth, National Alliance Senior Vice President of State Advocacy and Support, has released the following statement:

“HB 1375 is a victory for Colorado’s charter school students and families. It serves as an example of equitable local funding that should be replicated across the country. In too many states and districts, charter school students are not funded, or treated, equally to their district school peers.

“A new study from the University of Arkansas finds that public charter schools across the country receive an average of $5,721 less per-pupil than district public schools, which represents a funding gap of 29 percent. In Colorado, this charter school funding gap is estimated at 21 percent. Charter schools in eight urban districts with large charter enrollment receive $0 in local funding.

“Currently, in Colorado, school districts are not required to share local mill levy override dollars with their charter public schools. This inequity has resulted in an approximately $34 million funding disparity between the state’s district public schools and charter public schools. This inequity is shameful.

“I am pleased to see Colorado – with support from the Colorado League of Charter Schools – leading the way in the equitable distribution of local tax dollars. HB 1375 brings us one step closer to ensuring charter school students receive the full support of their local communities.”