Tuesday, February 12, 2008

"Building Excellent Schools Today" Act Introduced

House speaker Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver, along with Senate president Peter Groff, D-Denver, and Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village, introduced Tuesday a bill that would create a new statewide program to assist school districts and the charter school institute in building new facilities.

HB 1335 would divert lottery proceeds, as well as public school lands (state lands) income and mineral royalties, to the new fund.

The bill requires some of the money to be set aside as a reserve. It also creates a new agency within the state Department of Education that would advise the department on new construction priorities and establish criteria for funding. The department would establish funding priorities each year.

All money in the state's existing funds for school capital construction would be transferred to the new fund effective July 1, 2008 if the bill becomes law.