Colorado Legislative Council Staff



State General Fund Expenditure Impact

School District Revenue Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-246

Rep. Hagedorn



Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

February 5, 1998

House Education

Janis Baron (866-3523)



Summary of Legislation


FY 1998/99

FY 1999/2000

State Revenues

General Fund

Other Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund — Public School Finance Act, Total Program

$ 0

Up To $188,000

FTE Position Change



Local Government Impact — See School District section of this fiscal note.

            The bill creates a Pilot Voucher Program, funded only by federal or private moneys, administered by a research team from one or more institutions of higher education working with one school district in the Denver metropolitan area and one school district in southern Colorado, and includes the following provisions:


               requires the research team to apply to the State Board of Education by submitting a proposal to administer the Pilot Voucher Program, and requires the State Board to select a research team by July 1, 1999;

               specifies the eligibility criteria for students who participate in the pilot program;

               instructs the research team to distribute any moneys received for the pilot program among the participating students in the form of vouchers;

               allows a nonpublic school in which a participating student enrolls to redeem the voucher with the research team;

               specifies that students participating in the pilot program shall be included in the participating school district's pupil enrollment count;

               requires the research team to report the success of the Pilot Voucher Program to the Department of Education and to the Education Committees of the General Assembly; and

               repeals the pilot voucher program, effective July 1, 2004.

            The bill is effective upon signature of the Governor.

State Expenditures

            The bill requires the Department of Education to select a research team by July 1, 1999. The cost to review proposals submitted by the research teams can be absorbed within existing resources. It allows for the creation of research teams to work with no more than two school districts: one in the Denver metropolitan area and the other in southern Colorado (El Paso and Pueblo counties). Upon receiving federal or private funding, the teams would issue a voucher to a participating student, who would in turn use the voucher to cover tuition expenses at a nonpublic school, and the nonpublic school would redeem the voucher with the research team for cash. A participating student must be a resident of the school district, qualify for free or reduced lunch or receiving public assistance benefits, and be below content standards in at least two subject matter areas of the local school district.

            Under the bill, the local school district is able to count each participating student in the pilot program and receive funding via the school finance formula, even though the student is not enrolled or attending a public school in the district for FY 1999-00 and beyond. If all participating students are currently attending public school, there would be no fiscal impact. However, should students who are currently in private school or in a home-school program participate in the pilot program, it would represent an increase in school finance funding. The bill is assessed as having a conditional fiscal impact in FY 1999-00, and is predicated on:


               participation of research teams;

               participation of two school districts;

               interested students;

               availability of federal or private moneys; and

               participation of students who are currently in private school or a home-school program.

            Because participating students must qualify for public assistance or free or reduced lunch, this fiscal note assumes that most students participating in the pilot program would come from public schools. Assuming establishment of the pilot program in two school districts, with a total of 400 students participating, approximately 10 percent (40 students) of the students would come from private school or a home-school program. Thus, the impact to funding school finance would be $188,000 General Fund (40 students x $4,700 = $188,000).

School District Impact

            To the extent that pilot programs are established and include students who come from a private school or a home-school program, there would be additional moneys made available to the districts through the Public School Finance Act because of their ability to count these students.

Spending Authority

            No spending authority is required for FY 1998-99.

Departments Contacted

            Education                   Higher Education