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Briefs: A little boost for K-12 funding

The administration of Gov. John Hickenlooper is proposing a boost of about $12.8 million in the amount of K-12 spending he originally suggested for the 2013-14 school year.

The new proposal would bring average per-pupil funding to $6,707.67, compared to $6,659 in the governor’s original request and $6,474 in the current school year.

The governor issued his original budget plan last Nov. 1 (see story). After updated – and positive – state revenue forecasts were issued Dec. 20, budget director Henry Sobanet said the increased revenue might allow bumping up proposed spending for K-12 and higher education (see story).

The bumps didn’t turn out to be quite as large as Sobanet hoped, primarily because the “fiscal cliff” deal reached in Washington earlier this month changed the outlook for state tax revenues. (It’s complicated, but Colorado’s income tax system is partly tied to federal rates, so federal changes affect the state.)

The current 2012-13 state budget includes $5.3 billion in state and local funding for K-12 this year, with a state share of about $3 billion. Hickenlooper now is proposing an increase of about $214 million, a little over $200 million in state funds and the rest from expected increases in local revenue.

The administration proposed several other budget changes that don’t involve education (read Sobanet’s full letter to the Joint Budget Committee here).

The 2013-14 budget is a moving target, and the final decisions won’t be made until after the next set of revenue forecasts is issued in late March.

Would-be DPS hopefuls get another week

The Denver school board has extended by a week the application deadline for the vacant board seat representing northeast Denver.

The new deadline is 5 p.m. on Feb. 1. A DPS statement didn’t give a reason for the extension.

A seat is open on the seven-member board following Nate Easley’s recent resignation. He’s leaving to devote more time to his new job as executive director of the Denver Scholarship Foundation.

The district will hold a community meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at at the Evie Dennis Campus, 4800 Telluride St., to hear from people interested in seeking the Region 4 vacancy. Applicants for the vacancy will introduce themselves and explain why they are interested in the seat, and community members will be able to ask questions of the applicants.

The board has 60 days from accepting Easley’s resignation to fill the seat. If the board is unable to reach agreement, board President Mary Seawell can make the pick. Whoever is chosen will have to run for election next November.

Get more information about the vacancy process here, and read the most recent EdNews story here.