The budget restores nearly $500 million in higher ed spending that was cut last year and includes $100 million to help low-income and first-generation students.
Education represents the second largest lobbying interest at the Capitol, behind health care. There’s a lot at stake: Education — K-12 and higher ed — takes up about 45% of the general fund, yet Colorado still funds education at far lower levels than other states.
Colorado’s proposed budget also would provide more money to help students who have traditionally struggled to complete college.
The 2021 session is underway. Among the early bills is one that would reduce the role of the SAT and ACT in college admissions.
The scenario is worse than preliminary estimates predicting a $2 billion to $3 billion shortfall.
Even the best-case scenarios mean the loss of millions in funds that paid for school construction, social workers, and tuition increases for students.