Marijuana tax money targeted for Colorado’s full-day kindergarten rollout | SummitDaily.com

Marijuana tax money targeted for Colorado’s full-day kindergarten rollout

Bill would also increase money put toward school construction statewide

Michael Turner, left, browses merchandise with budtender Zina Perez Thursday, March 28, 2019 at MMJ American Dispensary in Denver.
Daniel Brenner/Special to the Denver Post

Colorado lawmakers have hit on a funding source to help struggling school districts cover up to $25 million in startup costs as they expand full-day kindergarten this fall: marijuana taxes.

The money is expected to aid districts in rural areas, as well as others short on cash. It would help buy new desks and furniture, fixtures for bathrooms and classrooms, and other equipment schools need as they expand their full-day kindergarten offerings.

To assist with those one-time expenses, lawmakers hit on tapping the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) fund, which already draws from marijuana tax money to issue local grants for school construction projects. The proposal is part of a bipartisan bill that also would deliver a $125 million boost in direct school construction assistance across the state in the next two years.

The state recently has put $40 million a year from retail marijuana excise taxes into the BEST fund, fulfilling a requirement of Colorado’s 2012 vote to legalize the sale and possession of recreational marijuana. The fund also includes revenue from other sources, including the lottery and state land leases and royalties.

Read the full story on The Denver Post website, click here.


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