History of the Budget Stabilization Factor (Negative Factor)
Over the course of the recession, Poudre School District sustained reductions and forfeited increases totaling $190 million (8 years cumulative) from FY2009-10 to FY2016-17. PSD is currently experiencing an annual deficit of $26.0 million. This equates to approximately 11.8% less than the “spirit” of Amendment 23 calls for. (see
How is PSD Funded?) for an explanation of Amendment 23)
In response to these funding reductions, Poudre cut approximately $13.7 million over two years. This resulted in cutting the equivalent of 139 full-time staff. These cuts are grouped as follows:
$4.5 million from schools, with each school cutting 4.5%. This resulted in approximately 86 fewer staffing units across all schools, of which 60 were teachers/licensed staff. School administration was reduced by approximately 3.6 staffing units. Schools also cut operating budgets, which impacted professional development, classroom budgets, and extracurricular programs. The impact of these cuts was reduced services to families and greater pressures on the classroom.
$5 million from district departments (non-school areas), with each department reduced by 8-10%. This resulted in approximately 52 fewer staffing units in district departments.
$2 million from district department operating budgets.
$2.2 million in district level reductions, including administrative reorganization of cabinet level positions (1.0 fewer position), alignment of one-time funds for future debt payments, and adjusting restricted (or non-discretionary) budgets. Additional budget savings were gained by closing one school (Moore ES) and reducing funding for small schools, changing bus routes, and increasing athletic fees.
To manage the lack of funding increases that would otherwise be provided under the “spirit” of Amendment 23, Poudre implemented salary freezes, held critical program and operating budgets stagnant, and did not allocate funds to new statewide initiatives. The passage of a $16.0 million mill levy override approved by district voters in November 2010 helped Poudre weather the impacts of the recession better than most districts. However, the override did not restore all reductions taken during the recession.
Marijuana Money for Schools
Statewide Marijuana Tax Collections and Disbursements
In 2014, Colorado voters approved the sale of retail marijuana with about 28% in sales taxes. Taxes are broken down as follows:
K-12 public education: 15% excise tax (on wholesale – before it gets to dispensary)
Marijuana Tax Cash Fund: 2.9% state sales tax (both retail and medical)
Local Share: 10% special sales tax (to local governments)
In 2016, these taxes amounted to about $141 million. Compare that to the $6.4 billion the state spends annually on K-12 education and Colorado's $10.3 billion annual budget.
about where Marijuana money goes in Colorado. Click here to see a chart by the Colorado Office of State Planning and Budgeting
Money for K12 education
Schools receive proceeds from the 15% excise tax on the wholesale transaction of retail marijuana. That money is allocated to schools in the following ways:
First $40 million: BEST Construction Fund (Competitive grant typically awarded to small, rural schools and only for life and safety items like a roof, a boiler, cracked foundation, etc.)
Everything over $40 million: K-12 Public School Fund
shows funds collected and disbursed in 2015-16 and 2016-17. Colorado Department of Education’s Marijuana Revenue page
View two Channel 9 news stories about this -
and ( Marijuana Money in Colorado How Marijuana Money Can't Stop School Closures.
Marijuana funds in PSD
In 2016, PSD applied for a BEST grant for approximately $309,000 to fund fire alarm replacements at several schools. The application was denied.
Between 2014 and 2017, PSD applied for grants from marijuana funded programs for the following:
In 2014-15, PSD applied for and received a grant for $81,556 from recreational marijuana tax funds from the Colorado Department of Education School Health Professionals Grant Program. Funds were used for substance abuse prevention. In 2015-16, the district applied again and receive $98,353.
In spring 2016, PSD applied to the Colorado Department of Education’s Student Re-engagement Grant Program and received $216,740 for drop-out prevention and student engagement programs at three high schools. The district will also receive $93,058 from this same grant fund to provide a second year of funding. PSD is one of only 10 districts in the state to be awarded this funding.
In December 2016, PSD applied for a Bullying Prevention grant funded by marijuana tax dollars. The district received $437,824 for 2.5 years of Bullying Prevention activities at Lesher, Wellington, Blevins and Preston Middle Schools. All four schools received .6FTE School Counselors to implement bullying prevention curriculum and activities at their sites.
That's close to $1 million in grants from recreational marijuana tax-funded programs.