DENVER — The debate over teacher salaries seems to be getting a lot of the attention as teachers protest on Thursday and Friday. Education funding is a big piece of the puzzle as well.
The Colorado Department of Education says our state's 178 public school districts receive funding from a variety of sources. Most of it comes through the Public School Finance Act of 1994.
According to the state, in budget year 2017-18 the budget legislation provides more than $6.6 billion in funding to Colorado school districts. Here's the breakdown:
- State taxes: $4.2 billion
- Vehicle registration: $172.7 million
- Local property taxes: $2.24 billion
When it comes to teacher salaries, the state of Colorado is in the middle of the pack compared to other states.
According to the National Education Association, Colorado ranks 31st this year in average teacher salary at $51,808.
The highest paid teachers live in New York. Average pay there is $81,902.
Colorado economists told lawmakers this past March they have an extra $1.3 billion to spend or save in 2018-19.
That's thanks to a thriving economy and some wiggle room in the state budget.
Additionally, Governor John Hickenlooper is calling for $200 million in additional money to K-12 education for next school year and another $100 million to the state education fund for the 2019-20 school year.
Despite the extra money coming, the recent protests are revealing many people don't think it's enough.