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BEST Financial Information


How is BEST Funded?

The BEST assistance fund has four revenue sources:

  • State Land Trust Funds
    • The greater of fifty percent of the gross amount of public school lands income other than interest or income earned on the deposit and investment of moneys in the public school fund received during the fiscal year or forty million dollars.
    • Public school lands income comes from:
      • (a) The sale of timber on public school lands, rental payments for the use and occupation of public school lands, and rental or lease payments for sand, gravel, clay, stone, coal, oil, gas, geothermal resources, gold, silver, or other minerals on public school lands;
      • (b) Royalties and other payments for the extraction of any natural resources on public school lands; and
      • (c) Interest or income earned on the deposit and investment of moneys in the public school fund. 
  • ​​Marijuana Excise Taxes
    • The first forty million dollars received and collected from the excise tax on retail marijuana earned annually from the recreational marijuana industry is transferred into the BEST Program Assistance Fund. May 2015 marked the first grant cycle to utilize these revenues. 
    • Additional information on recreational marijuana taxes
  • Colorado Lottery Spillover Funds 
    • ​​Any proceeds earned beyond the Great Outdoors Colorado allowable cap is directed to the Colorado Department of Education’s BEST Program Assistance Fund and is used to address health and safety issues in public schools.
  • ​Interest Earned
    • Interest earned on the assistance fund is also used to fund grant projects.

All revenues are collected in one fund, called the assistance fund, which is used to administer annual competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. BEST funds can be used for capital improvements such as: construction of new schools as well as general repair, renovation and remodel of existing school facility systems and structures. Projects receiving grant funds do not receive revenues from one single source, therefore the Division is unable to assess how much revenue from available revenue sources went to a specific project. 

The BEST Program is committed to maintaining financial transparency on all levels. You can find the BEST Legislative Reports by fiscal year, the current BEST Revenue and Expense Report, various financial charts and graphs, and the BEST Offering Statements all listed below.

BEST Legislative Reports

BEST Revenue and Expense Report and Financial Charts

BEST Offering Statements


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