PSD and the Colorado School Funding Model
School districts receive funding from two sources:
- State funding formula (property taxes and state funding, which is determined by the state legislature each year)
- Local revenue (mill levy overrides, property taxes and vehicle registration fees)
State funds are allocated to school districts based on student enrollment as of October 1 each year. Funding begins at $6,370 per student and increases based on factors like poverty, size of the district and cost of living.
The national average for per-pupil funding is about $11,000 per student. Colorado currently ranks 40th in the country in per-pupil funding for education.
Funding in PSD
PSD receives about $8,050 per student, the lowest amount in the state funding formula that districts can receive. State funding combined with money from property taxes from voter-approved mill levy overrides makes up PSD's general fund.
Eighty-five percent of the general fund goes to schools as follows:
- 50 cents of every dollar goes directly to schools in the form of student-based budgeting. Schools receive an allocation for every student enrolled at their school. The principal, in collaboration with staff, students and parents, decides how to use this money to pay for teachers, classified staff, programs, supplies and other school operations.
- 35 cents of every dollar supports essential school-based services including principals and assistant principals, alternative programs such as Centennial High School, special education, classroom technology, home-to-school transportation, security, custodians, ground workers and utilities.
Remaining money is spent this way:
- 13 cents of every dollar funds central services including departments like finance, HR, athletics, curriculum, mental health, technology, professional development, maintenance and wellness.
- 2 cents of every dollar supports central administrators
See how PSD allocates funding to specific sites and departments in this 2019-2020 Fiscal Transparency Chart.