Many school districts do not share the additional dollars they get from voter-approved property tax increases with charter schools. Traditional public schools often have access to a good deal more money than charters. But two Colorado districts recently passed budgets that reflect more equitable funding for charter school students. Jefferson County completed its journey toward equalization, and Thompson took the first step. Reform majorities on both school boards drove the move toward funding equalization. Other districts take note: This is how you do it.
Some positive efforts for change are underway in the Jefferson Articulation Area, one of Jeffco’s most challenging regions. An important improvement plan faces a March 5 board vote. The plan is the culmination of a huge process that pulled together district officials, school leaders, community members, and parents. Education collaboration is a beautiful thing. Let’s hope it leads to better results for students!
Don’t get me wrong: Christmas will be great when it comes in a couple weeks, but there’s only one Douglas County Choice Scholarship Program hearing before the Colorado Supreme Court! Following a great amicus brief and a terrific Denver Post op-ed written by a Dougco dad, a positive ruling sometime in 2015 could open doors and break down more barriers in parts of Colorado and beyond, giving students and families access to more educational options than ever before. Power to the students and the parents!
“Good news for educational freedom!” Words that can light up my day, right up there with “Free Legos” and “of course, you can have another scoop of Superman ice cream.” (Sadly, too many kids are left Waiting for Superman… Okay, okay. Enough groaning already.) Specifically, the latest good news comes compliments of the “merry band [...]
Late in the session the Colorado legislature passed House Bill 1382, authorizing the creation of K-12 online education pilot programs. One pilot program area — funding student choices at the course level — has received some detailed help in the form of a policy strategy manual from the Fordham Foundation, to go along with our 2012 issue paper, Online Course-Level Funding.
In Colorado, school boards have the opportunity to improve charter funding equity locally. In a positive development, the Denver Post expressed support for the Jefferson County board’s decision to set aside an extra $3.7 million to bring their charter schools somewhat closer to parity with their district-run counterparts.
The Colorado Supreme Court has announced it will hear the case of Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District — yes, the case of the groundbreaking Choice Scholarship Program. One phase of waiting is over. With briefings to be exchanged into June and oral arguments expected for the fall, we just need to stay patient.
Have you ever stuck your neck out there, the only one in the crowd choosing something different from everyone else, and then gave the wrong answer? That must be a little bit what CEA leaders feel like as they actively challenge a policy that keeps ineffective teachers out of classrooms. To put the icing on the cake, they announced their lawsuit and legislation right in the middle of National School Choice Week, a celebration of quality educational options for students.
The message of school financial transparency is great. The goal is admirable and frankly, should be a no-brainer in this complex technological age. But if Colorado leaders ignore what already has been done, we needlessly put ourselves a step behind in ensuring taxpayers are aware of and have ready access to complete and meaningful information on revenue and spending. Let’s not pretend K-12 financial transparency is a new idea, or unknown in practice, here in Colorado. Is that too much to ask?
For Colorado public educators, it’s that time of year again. Union members can keep their membership but still opt to spend their (as much as $63 in) Every Member Option automatic political deduction on their own. The clock is ticking for educators to request one or both refunds before the December 15 deadline.