You are here

School Finance Task Force


Senate Bill 23-287 creates a Public School Finance Task Force for the purpose of examining and making recommendations concerning making the school finance formula simpler, less regressive, and more adequate, understandable, transparent, equitable and student-center. 

CDE must contract with a third-party entity to facilitate the task force and report to the General Assembly on formula changes by January 31, 2024.  The task force shall make findings and recommendations regarding the following changes to the school finance formula for FY 2024-25: 

  • Eliminating the use of multiplicative indexes for cost of living, personnel and non-personnel costs, and district size;

  • Recalibrating the cost of living factor, capping the cost of living factor, or alternative methods to account for the cost of living, including through categorical funding. A recommendation concerning a revised cost of living factor must be able to regularly change as a result of the biennial cost of living study; 

  • Prioritizing student needs in the formula, including measures, to the extent possible, that align the at-risk factor, English Language Learner factor, and special education categorical funding based upon available evidenced-based research on student-centered funding that has a direct impact on student outcomes;

  • Revising the size factor to incorporate considerations other than or in addition to student enrollment, including the remoteness of a school district; and

  • Securing equalization in mill levy overrides for Institute charter schools based upon the school district where the Institute charter school is geographically located, including considerations for students who do not reside in the school district where the Institute charter school is geographically located, multi-district online programs, and total program funding.

The task force’s report must include findings of actual outcomes on school districts and Institute charter schools if the recommendations were adopted. 

Furthermore, the task force is required to set parameters to examine and make recommendations concerning the components and costs necessary to adequately provide Colorado students with a free and uniform public education.  The department is required to contract with two independent entities to conduct school finance adequacy studies. The department must select entities that represent different perspectives concerning school finance.  The independent entities’ report of findings and recommendations must be submitted to the task force and to the General Assembly by January 3, 2025.  

Task Force Members

Task force membership is outlined in 22-54-104.7, C.R.S.


Steven Bartholomew, Executive Director, New Legacy Charter School
Charter School Leader (High At-Risk Population)
Chuck Carpenter, Chief Financial Officer, Denver Public Schools
District CFO (High ELL Population)
Brenda Dickhoner, President and CEO, Ready Colorado
Expertise in School Finance
Kathy Gebhardt, Board President, Boulder Valley School District Board of Education
Expertise in School Finance
Marty Gutierrez, Math Teacher, Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Deborah Hendrix, Executive Director, Parents Challenge
Representing Children and Families
Riley Kitts, Vice President of of Policy & Government Affairs, Colorado Children's Campaign
Expertise in School Finance
Terry Croy Lewis, Executive Director, Charter School Institute
Charter School Institute Representative
Alex Magaña, Executive Director, Beacon Network Schools
School Admin (Principal)
Leslie Nichols, Superintendent, Gunnison Watershed School District
Superintendent (Rural)


Nick Plantan, Chief Operating Officer at DSST Public Schools
Charter School Leader (High ELL Population)
Sarah Siegel, Researcher and Data Analyst, Colorado Education Association
Statewide Teachers Organization
Dan Snowberger, Superintendent, Elizabeth School District 
Superintendent (Low Property Value)
Kermit Snyder, Superintendent, Rocky Ford School District
District CFO (Small Rural)
Sarah Swanson, Director of Policy, Colorado Succeeds
Expertise in Business and K-12 Education
Lisa Weil, Executive Director, Great Education Colorado
Expertise in School Finance
Carrie Zimmerman, Superintendent, Center Consolidated School District 
Superintendent (High At-Risk Population)
Marc Carey, Economist, Legislative Council
Director of Leg Council Staff or Director's Designee (NON-VOTING)
Craig Harper, Chief Legislative Budget & Policy Analyst, Joint Budget Committee
Director of JBC Staff or Director's Designee (NON-VOTING)
Jennifer Okes, Chief School Operations Officer, Colorado Department of Education
Commissioner's Designee from CDE with Expertise in School Finance (NON-VOTING)


Meeting Resources

A chair of the task force will be selected at the first meeting of the task force.  The task force will meet at the call of the chair not more than eight times following the first meeting.  Meetings will be held through December 2023.  Meetings may be held in person or virtually. The task force is a state public body and therefore isare subject to the Colorado Open Meeting Law and the Colorado Open Records Act.   

2023 Task force meeting dates and times:

Meeting #1 - Tuesday, August 29, 2023, 11:00 to 1:00

Meeting #2: Tuesday. September 12th, 2023  11:00am - 2:00pm

​Meeting #3: Friday, September 29th, 2023 11:00am - 3:00pm

Meeting #4: Tuesday, October 17th, 2023 9:00am - 1:00pm

Meeting #5: Tuesday, October 31st, 2023 9:00am - 1:00pm

Meeting #6: Tuesday, November 14th, 2023 9:00am - 1:00pm

Meeting #7, Tuesday, December 5th, 2023 8:30am - 1:00pm

Meeting #8, Tuesday, December 12th, 2023 9:00am - 1:00pm

Other Resources



Jennifer Okes, Chief District Operations Officer -

Amy Carman, Executive Director of School Finance and Grants CDE -