Ten Colorado lawmakers, many with longstanding ties to the education community, are set to begin debating the future of Colorado’s school finance system.
The legislative group tasked with studying and making recommendations about how the state pays for public education includes former teachers and superintendents, a former State Board of Education member and a practicing charter school lawyer.
State Rep. Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, will lead the committee during its first year.
Garnett helped establish the committee earlier this year when he co-sponsored House Bill 1340 with state Rep. Paul Lundeen, a Monument Republican. Lundeen also will serve on the panel.
State Sen. Owen Hill, a Colorado Springs Republican, will be the vice-chair.
The committee was formed against a backdrop of fear that the state’s schools would face deep budget cuts next school year. However, lawmakers at the last minute averted putting the state’s schools in an even deeper financial hole.
Still, lawmakers from both parties and members of the state’s education community agree the funding system is outdated and in need of a massive overhaul. The state last made significant changes to the system in 1994.
The committee’s first meeting is scheduled for July 24. Among its first decisions will be selecting a third-party consultant to help with research and guide discussions and decisions.
Here’s the full committee:
- State Rep. Alec Garnett, Denver Democrat, chair
- State Sen. Owen Hill, Colorado Springs Republican, vice chair
- State Sen. Janet Buckner, Aurora Democrat
- State Sen. Bob Gardner, Colorado Springs Republican
- State Rep. Millie Hamner, Frisco Democrat
- State Rep. Timothy Leonard, Evergreen Republican
- State Rep. Paul Lundeen, Monument Republican
- State Sen. Michael Merrifield, Colorado Springs Democrat
- State Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg, Sterling Republican
- State Sen. Rachel Zenzinger, Arvada Democrat