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At-Risk Measure for School Finance Working Group

Overview

Beginning in FY 2023-24, HB 22-1202 creates a new at-risk measure in the school finance formula to identify students who are at risk of below-average academic outcomes due to socioeconomic disadvantage or poverty. The new measure includes:   

  • a district’s percentage of students certified as eligible for free lunch based on receipt of public benefits (SNAP, TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation) or categorical eligibility (foster, homeless, migrant, runaway or Head Start), supplemented by the direct certification of students participating in Medicaid or Children’s Basic Health Plan;
  • a neighborhood socioeconomic status index that weights student needs based on at least five socioeconomic status neighborhood factors, linked to each student’s census block group.

The bill requires the Commissioner of Education to convene a working group to prepare for the implementation of the new measure. The working group consists of representatives from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), and a variety of education-related groups. The working group must meet by August 15, 2022, and report to the Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance, Joint Budget Committee, and education committees by January 31, 2023, at which time the working group will adjourn.  The bill specifies topics that the working group may consider, including but not limited to:   

  • collecting the necessary data to implement the measure;  
  • developing the neighborhood socioeconomic status index and determining the five index factors;  
  • determining how a student’s neighborhood socioeconomic index value should be incorporated;   
  • conducting pre-implementation modeling and testing with actual data;   
  • considering the impact of the new measure on other programs;
  • determining the distribution of at-risk funding, how districts and charter schools will demonstrate that at-risk funding is being used to serve at-risk students, the process for initially identifying students, and the design of a hold-harmless provision.

 

Membership

HB22-1202 establishes the stakeholder groups that must be represented in the working group. In addition to working group members appointed by the Executive Directors of the Departments of Health Care Policy and Financing and Human Services, the working group includes representatives from each of the following groups:

Staff Of The Department Of Education; Staff Of The State Charter School Institute; District Chief Financial Officers Or School Finance Directors; Superintendents Of Districts; School Principals And Directors Of Charter Schools; School Social Workers Or Nurses; Child Welfare Education Liaisons; The Education Data Advisory Committee Created In Section 22-2-304; A Statewide Organization That Represents Educators; A Statewide Organization That Represents School District Boards Of Education; A Statewide Advocacy Group For Charter Schools; An Advocacy Organization That Represents Rural Districts; A Statewide Organization That Represents Parents; A Statewide Organization That Represents School Nutrition Service Providers; Advocacy Groups For Children In Poverty; Advocacy Groups Working To End Hunger In Colorado; Any Other Groups With Relevant Qualifications Or Expertise.

View the working group roster (PDF)

Upcoming Meetings

  • October 17, 2022 2:30-4:30
  • November 14, 2022 2:30-4:30

Meeting Resources

August 8, 2022 - School Finance Background

August 15, 2022 - Meeting #1

September 12, 2022 - Meeting #2

Other Resources

Urban Institute Report to the Interim Committee on School Finance (PDF)

American Community Survey 

 

Contact Us

Kate Bartlett, Executive Director of School District Operations, CDE - bartlett_k@cde.state.co.us

Kristin Blagg, Senior Policy Analyst, Urban Institute - kblagg@urban.org