Colorado's Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper today is presenting lawmakers with a budget that does not include any major spending cuts for the first time in years.
Hickenlooper's budget proposal of $21.9 billion includes increases K-12 education funding by just over $201 million--a marked difference from the FY 2011-12 budget that cut $375 million from the state's K-12 education and a 4.8 percent boost.
According to a report by Education News Colorado, the school district that stands to gain the most from the budget increases is Mesa County while El Paso County will be receiving the least increase in per pupil funding.
The budget also calls for a $30 million increase for higher education from the state's general fund.
“Colorado’s economy is outperforming other states,” Hickenlooper said in a statement released earlier this month. “This gives us the ability to restore some cuts and modestly increase funding in critical areas of the state’s budget. But we still have a long way to go to fully recover from this recession.”
The proposal also includes the first pay raise for state employees in five years.
Despite the increases however, the budget is still $1.1 billion less than the 2007-08 general fund.