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Monday Churn: Budget talks underway

What’s churning:

Aurora Public Schools tonight is asking community members to help solve a $25 million gap expected in its budget for 2011-12 – just the latest district to seek public guidance in the face of Gov. John Hickenlooper’s proposed $332 million cuts in education funding for the coming school year.

Aurora’s budget town hall begins at 6 p.m. in the Professional Learning and Conference Center, 15771 E. 1st Ave. You can read about some cuts being considered, including increased class sizes and furlough days. Aurora officials say that $25 million figure is a combination of the proposed cuts, about $9 million according to a state report, plus expected increased costs for “PERA, energy and labor.”

Tuesday, Douglas County school board members will devote their meeting to budget talks and on March 8, Jefferson County leaders are hosting a community budget forum. Other districts, including Adams 50 Westminster and Adams 14 Commerce City, are seeking public input on their websites.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Rollie Heath, D-Boulder, is scheduled at noon today to announce a proposed tax-increase plan that could benefit education.

This week’s legislative calendar also includes bills related to school bullying, resident tuition for undocumented students, physical activity in elementary schools, membership of the Public Employees’ Retirement Association board, school energy efficiency, tax credits for private school tuition and employment of felons are on committee agendas.

The Joint Budget Committee will tackle House-Senate differences on 2010-11 budget balancing bills, including a disputed cut to the Colorado Counselor Corps.

Check here for the full statehouse calendar.

What’s on tap:

TUESDAY

The Douglas County school board meets starting at 5 p.m., 620 Wilcox St., Castle Rock. Agenda

The Aurora school board meets at 6 p.m., 1085 Peoria St. Agenda

WEDNESDAY

The Adams 12-Five Star board meets at 7 p.m. , Educational Support Center, 1500 E. 128th Ave. Thornton. Agenda

THURSDAY

The Jefferson County school board convenes at 5 p.m., 1829 Denver West Drive, Building 27, Golden. Agenda

FRIDAY

The Colorado Commission on Higher Education holds its monthly meeting starting at 1 p.m., room A of Legislative Services Building, 200 E. 14th Ave.

Good reads from elsewhere:

  • Integration by achievement: Raleigh, N.C., schools, once integrated by income, tries something new. New York Times.
  • Last in, first out: NYC mayor releases list of layoffs by school if seniority policy isn’t changed. Wall Street Journal.
  • Layoffs possible: Wisconsin school districts eye layoffs as impasse with governor continues. Associated Press.

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