Bill would keep extra state money from re-Bruced districts

A new school-finance measure before the Legislature would prevent school districts from getting more state dollars by reinstating revenue limits.

Mesa County commissioners discussed the idea of reinstating revenue limits for School District 51 in the wake of a court decision upholding the so-called mill-levy freeze, a legislative device intended to put more weight on local taxpayers in most school districts and freeing up state general-fund money for other purposes.

“It’s disappointing that this provision got snuck in,” said state Sen. Josh Penry, R-Grand Junction.

It’s possible, though, disagreements about the provision can be resolved, Penry said.

The school-finance measure, S.B. 256, includes provisions that will reward schools for improving the test performance of at-risk children and would discourage dropouts by requiring every ninth grader in the state to establish an account with College in Colorado to help them plan for education after high school.

Attorney General John Suthers said he was troubled by the punitive nature of the provision.

“Now that the voters have a chance to cast an informed vote about whether they want to see their property taxes increase, the Legislature wants to punish them if they vote in favor of lower taxes,” Suthers said.


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