"It’s not a question of does Colorado have the capacity or the resources," said Tracie Rainey of CSFP. "It’s policy decisions that have been made that have put other parts of state government head of K-12."
Colorado lawmakers allocated $500 million more into education programs last year, which is not reflected in CSFP's analysis. And Gov. John Hickenlooper has proposed a one-time increase for the next budget year of $200 million above the minimum budget required to operate schools.
Meanwhile, the number of poor children in Colorado schools has risen to 42 percent of all students. That’s up from 30 percent a decade ago.