School Finance Outlook
COMMITTEE ON LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL
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10:55 AM -- School Finance Outlook
Todd Herreid, Legislative Council Staff, distributed a handout titled the Impact of Forecast and Other changes on School Finance Act Funding (Attachment B). He talked about the bar chart on the top of the page and explained that in FY 2009-10 the total program spending increased by about $19 million because the enrollment came in higher than was projected in September by 860 students. He noted that the number of at risk students also increased. He also explained that the assessed value forecast (discussed earlier by economist Jason Schrock) came in higher because of the oil and gas boom. Mr. Herreid discussed the federal ARRA funds that have been redirected to higher education. He explained that in FY 2010 and 2011, overall from current year to next year, funding will go up by $70 million, due to the increase in pupils and the increase in per-pupil funding required under Amendment 23. Amendment 23 requires funding to increase by inflation, which is -0.9 which percent, plus one percent, resulting in a 0.1 percent increase. In 2010, $220 million General Fund is needed to fully fund the School Finance Act.
Mr. Herreid talked about various scenarios based on different General Fund increases or decreases for the School Finance Act from FY 2009-10 and program reductions in FY 2010-11 from current law. These scenarios are reflected in the chart on the bottom of Attachment B. Representative Lambert asked about increased case load not being reflected in the forecast. Representative Pommer asked why revenues are not increasing with population. Ms. Mullis explained that it is due to employment a lack of employment and wage increases. There was a discussion about population growth in Colorado. Representative Pommer suggested adding caseload, rather than just revenue, to the forecasts. Senator Romer talked about credit availability for small businesses.