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Charter school budget cuts got you down?

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Is your charter school making budget cuts? For the third or fourth year in a row? Are salaries frozen or cut for staff? Are teachers and parents' complaining?

If so, then realize that even though Colorado leveled education spending so that there were no statewide cuts from 2011-12 to 2012-13, there were small cuts to some districts. They weren't much, but when PERA (the pension fund for Colorado state employees) employer rates increase and health premiums increase by 5% to 18%, schools must balance the budget somehow. The total cut since the economy dropped off is over 16% from what schools expected under current law. The state intituted a balancing factor to reduce state funding. In other words, they found a way to circumvent the law to balance the state budget.

The good news, if there is any, is that school districts have been making cuts as well. Looking around the state, districts are still adjusting to the reduction of funds. While this isn't really good news, it should provide some perspective to school employees, especially in charter schools that felt as if they were barely making ends meet prior to the cuts.

The fact is that public education needs to figure out how to weather this storm. Forecasts show that it may take a decade for education budgets to return to the levels they were only a few short years ago. As a parent or as a school leader, it's time to recalibrate expectations and support your charter school in its effort to stay financially viable.

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