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Colorado Education Association warns of Senate's proposed charter funding mandate

The Colorado Education Association (CEA), which is the state’s largest group of educators, is opposing a proposal that would mandate how money is spent in public schools.

The group argues that Senate Bill 17-061 would make districts hand over money raised in mill levy elections to charter schools without much oversight.

“SB-61 is a direct attack on a community’s power to raise and spend money for its students as the people desire. The lack of accountability in this bill fails taxpayers and parents, but most importantly, fails more than 750,000 students who attend traditional schools,” said Kerrie Dallman, president of the Colorado Education Association. “Legislators who agree that local residents know the needs of their students and can make the best decisions for their kids will vote against this harmful legislation.”

Opponents of the bill say it is unnecessary, as some districts already have revenue-sharing agreements with charter schools.

According to a report published last year, the Denver School of Science and Technology (DSST) funneled $20 million to $50 million of taxpayer funds to a for-profit entity owned by two DSST directors.

DSST says the report, which was authored by the Center for Popular Democracy, is full of misinformation and that the findings published in the report are categorically false. Click here for a link to DSST's full response to the report as well as its response to a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request that was filed by the Center for Popular Democracy. 

“Colorado students benefit when schools are transparent and accountable. We ensure all students have the very best we can offer when we are vigilant about making sure every public school answers to local parents, to local voters, and to local taxpayers,” Dallman said.

A similar effort failed in the state legislature last year.

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