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Budget, finalists cap busy week

Last week was unusually busy at the state Capitol and Colorado Department of Education, with budget news possibly getting a bit less grim and two finalists named for the education commissioner’s job.

The House gave preliminary approval to an amended version of the school finance act, which could shrink the $250 million cut districts face in 2011-12. How much smaller the cuts might be depends on a complex variety of factors. But under a best-case – albeit unlikely – scenario, the cuts could be as low as $160 million.

You can read the full details in this report from Education News Colorado Capitol Editor Todd Engdahl.

After launching a national search headed by a firm it paid $29,500, the State Board of Education chose two local candidates as finalists. Current acting Commissioner Robert Hammond and Aurora Public Schools Superintendent John Barry will go through another round of interviews with the board next week. The board expects to name a new commissioner sometime in May.

Hammond was appointed commissioner last December after Dwight Jones left to become superintendent in Las Vegas. Prior to joining the department in 2008 as deputy superintendent, Hammond was a senior administrator with the Boulder Valley schools and with Wichita, Kan., schools.

Barry is a retired Air Force major general who became Aurora superintendent in June 2006.

For more information on both finalists and on the search process, read this EdNews article.

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