Plateau Valley Schools Could Receive Less State Funding Than Expected
KREX News Room
COLLBRAN, Colo.- If Gov. John Hickenlooper’s recently proposed budget for 2013-2014 is passed, an increase in funding to all Colorado schools is on the horizon.
The proposed budget calls for a 4.8 percent increase in school funding, which is equal to more than $201 million.
Under this application, the average Colorado student would see an increase of $185, with students at the Plateau Valley School District set to see the highest increase equivalent to $852.40 per pupil.
"That would be nearly $500,000,” said Greg Randall, superintendent of the Plateau Valley School District. “We would use those funds to do the best things possible to increase student learning."
However, things may be a little more complicated than that.
"The numbers that the governor is using for his next year's budget is older numbers, which is already $240 off," said Randall.
Randall says he would be surprised to see the district receive that many state dollars because the school system saw a student increase this year, not a decrease like what the state is reporting and expecting for next year.
“So we lost about $120,000 of what we should have got because the formula takes money away for students that increase,” said Randall.
“We've been working so hard at trying to make due with what we have,” said Linda Rau, business manager for the Plateau Valley School District. “We have been trying to look at the positive, and the staff has been wonderful to help us.”
It's not just the staff at the school working to help the district out.
Local residents also showed they care by passing a $350,000 mill levy this past Election Day, but it's a tax that could become a thing of the past if the district receives state funding.
Randall says the whole point of the levy was to supply his struggling district with funds that could now be provided by the state. As a result, certain changes may be made.
"We would modify the mill levy if we received that much funding,” said Randall. “We would look at how it would work, what it would do, what the process would be to lower it or get rid of it totally."
The assessed value of the community also factors into this new funding. It’s something school officials say will significantly impact the district, as they are soon becoming fully funded by local taxpayers.
The school district is hoping to get at least a couple hundred dollars more per pupil from this new state funding.
The proposal must still pass the state legislature before it is approved.
State officials say the entire budget process is expected to wrap up near the end of the 2013 General Assembly in May.