Budget plan neutralizes federal cash for District 51

School District 51 will lose $3.9 million in state funding if Colorado legislators take suggestions offered recently by Gov. Bill Ritter to cover a state budget shortfall.

The action would have no effect on District 51’s budget, as the amount withheld by the state would be equal to the amount the district is getting from the federal Education Jobs Fund, money also disbursed through the state.

District 51 Executive Director of Support Services Melissa Callahan DeVita said the school district was just starting to discuss what to do with the federal money and had not allocated it for a specific purpose when the governor announced his plan.

Callahan DeVita said Ritter’s suggestions were posed to handle a shortfall listed in September’s Colorado revenue forecast. December and March forecasts will determine whether Colorado school districts can proceed with their current budgets as planned or face recisions this school year. Last year, the state rescinded about 3 percent of the budgets from Colorado school districts to cover a shortfall.

A shortfall of $1.1 billion in the state’s general fund has been projected for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

“Nothing has been said about K-12 (funding), but K-12 consumes 44 percent of the budget, so logic tells you we’d be impacted,” Callahan DeVita said.


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