A bill to rethink Colorado’s school funding system hits temporary snag

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee stopped short of ending the bill’s legislative journey.

Students at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora work to solve a math problem. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)
Students at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora work to solve a math problem. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)
Students at Mrachek Middle School in Aurora work to solve a math problem. (Nicholas Garcia/Chalkbeat)

By Nicholas GarciaChalkbeat

A much lauded bill that would create a committee to propose changes to the way Colorado funds it schools hit an unexpected roadblock Friday when a state Senate panel failed to advance it.

Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee stopped short of ending the bill’s legislative journey, though. And the committee’s vice chair state Sen. Kent Lambert, a Colorado Springs Republican, said the committee would likely revisit the matter Monday.

“I don’t think we had all the information,” Lambert said. “I chalk it up to a misidentification.”

The bipartisan House Bill 1340 is sponsored by state Reps. Paul Lundeen and Alec Garnett and state Sens. Dominick Moreno and Owen Hill.

It is one of the several efforts underway to overhaul the state’s school funding system.

The last time the state reconsidered how it funded its schools was 1994.

“We never figured this was going to be easy,” said Lundeen, a Colorado Springs Republican. “Policy making is not always a linear process. But we’re committed.”

“We’re going to keep working in a bipartisan way to get this across the finish line,” said Garnett, a Denver Democrat.

The bill was previously given unanimous approval by the House of Representatives.

Chalkbeat is a nonprofit news site covering educational change in public schools.