Tying aid to test scores advances at Colo. Capitol | SummitDaily.com

Tying aid to test scores advances at Colo. Capitol

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

DENVER ” Schools that raise the test scores of at-risk students would get more state aid under a bill backed by the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday.

The measure (Senate Bill 256) proposes a big change in the way the state funds public schools.

Schools already get extra funding based on how many low-income students they serve. The original bill allowed the state to give out an extra $1.5 million to schools that serve at-risk students and have higher-than-average test scores.

The committee backed raising that to $4.5 million, mostly by taking money that usually goes to smaller, rural schools. But $1 million would come from regular at-risk aid that’s not based on performance.

The bill could still face more changes as it moves through the Senate and then the House.

Despite the recession, the overall budget for kindergarten through 12th grade schools will grow next year because an amendment to the state constitution requires it.

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Under the bill, the state would spend a minimum of $5,508 on each student in Colorado during the fiscal year that begins July 1, an increase of $257, or 4.9 percent over this year. School districts could get more funding based on factors such as how many special education or at-risk students they have or how much money they need for transportation.