Teach Plus Colorado Celebrates the Passage of Legislation Addressing Equity in the State’s Funding Formula

Teach Plus Colorado Celebrates the Passage of Legislation Addressing Equity in the State’s Funding Formula

Denver, Colorado, May 8, 2024Teach Plus Colorado issued the following statement after the Colorado Legislature passed HB24-1448, the “New Public School Finance Formula.” The formula centers students and provides additional support for students who need it. It also increases weights for students in special education, those who are English learners, and low-income. 

Teach Plus Colorado applauds the Colorado Legislature for recognizing that the formula was outdated and focused too heavily on the adults in the system versus the students. The 30-year-old formula provided financial support for some of the wealthiest districts to the detriment of smaller, rural districts, as well as those with high numbers of special student populations. And while the state still has a long way to go in adequately funding public education in Colorado, the new formula provides protection for our most vulnerable students as we fight for increased funding. 

“Teach Plus teacher leaders have analyzed student data and have made recommendations over the years to support our most vulnerable students. These teacher leaders advocated for a formula that is weighted to meet the unique needs of our students, adequately and equitably funds our schools, fairly allocates state dollars, and provides transparent funding information to the public. The new funding formula moves us in the right direction,” said Mark Sass, Teach Plus Colorado Executive Director. “The legislation protects our most at-risk students as the state continues to fight for adequate education funding.”

Teach Plus Senior Policy Fellow Karen Amidon who teaches in Boulder Valley School District testified in support of the bill in April, emphasizing this funding’s importance on her students like Diego. “His story is a stark reminder of the impact our educational investments have on our individual lives,” she told the committee. Upon passage of the legislation Karen said, “The new school funding formula puts more state education dollars where they are most neededserving students with the highest needs. I look forward to districts across the state working with classroom teachers to make sure that students have the sustained, targeted supports they need to thrive.”

Teach Plus Colorado is grateful for the passion and bipartisan leadership shown by the sponsors, Speaker McCluskie (D-HD 13), House Assistant Majority Leader Bacon (D-HD 7), Senator Zenzinger (D-SD 19, and Senate Minority Leader Lundeen (R-SD9). We would also like to thank the tireless efforts of the Colorado Legislative Council, in particular Chief School Finance Officer Marc Carey, for responding to the numerous changes to the formula’s weights and percentages.  

About Teach Plus
The mission of Teach Plus is to empower excellent, experienced, and diverse teachers to take leadership over key policy and practice issues that affect their students’ success. In pursuing this mission, Teach Plus is guided by the Student Opportunity Mandate​: All students should have the opportunity to achieve their potential in an education system defined by its commitment to equity, its responsiveness to individual needs, and its ability to prepare students for postsecondary success. Since 2009, Teach Plus has trained thousands of teacher leaders across the country who are driving policy changes and improving the instructional practices of teachers to create an education system driven by equity, access, and excellence for all students. teachplus.org/co