The Colorado Department of Education estimates that fixing Colorado’s aging school buildings will cost $17 billion, but CBS News Colorado has discovered that there isn’t any extra money available.
Dave Young, the state treasurer, describes it as a crisis.
Colorado is one of around a dozen states that don’t provide a consistent source of funds for school construction every year. Instead, it holds an annual competition to award some funding to the neediest schools.
According to the state department of education, the Building Excellent Schools Today grant program, also known as BEST, has given school districts that needed to renovate their facilities $3.5 billion over the last 15 years.
Although the BEST program prioritized health and safety issues first this past year and granted more than $101 million to 17 school districts across the state who were in need, many school districts were left out.
Colorado Schools Need More Funding for Facilities, BEST Grant Not Enough
According to Stine, the Colorado Lottery, marijuana excise fees, state land board earnings, and matching funds from all incoming applications are the BEST award program’s principal revenue sources. There is unquestionably a problem with the lack of money for public schools, not only in Colorado but truly all throughout the nation, when it comes to facilities and facility maintenance.
San Miguel County’s Norwood Schools didn’t receive a BEST grant this year.
Although the faculty may be helpful, the school itself is not. The school’s ceilings have holes in them, and according to school authorities, water spills into the hallways whenever it rains or snows.
The school’s foundation has moved, forcing some doors to improperly close, and the walls are warping and twisting to the point that bricks are falling off.
Todd Bittner, the superintendent of Norwood, said it is a safety threat that keeps him awake at night.
In order to assure that at the very least, more BEST awards may be awarded in 2024, Young says the BEST program will still require legislative approval to expand its loan funding, known as Certificates of Participation. This is true whether or not the financing authority comes together.
Young says the BEST program will still require legislative approval to expand its loan funding, known as Certificates of Participation, to ensure that at the very least, more BEST grants may be awarded in 2024, regardless of whether or not the financial authority comes together.
Source: CBS News