Fri February 3, 2012

House Bill May Change Colorado Student 'Count Day'

The Colorado House Education Committee has passed a bill onto the house floor that changes the state’s ‘student-count’ funding day to avoid conflicts with religious holidays.

Colorado’s Oct. 1st count day is used by school districts to establish funding for individual schools. If children are absent on that day, they’re not included in a school’s roster, and the school may not receive funding for that child.

Schools promote the importance of count day and when it falls on a religious holiday, it causes conflicts. The bill [.pdf] drafted by Pueblo Representative Sal Pace would avoid that by prohibiting the count day to fall on a religious holiday.

Cindi Bush-Luna is principal of Colorado High School Charter in Denver. She says regardless of the official date, receiving funding based around a single day is difficult for small charter schools like hers.

“I would rather reserve this many seats, and this is the number of students we serve and being committed to that for that year. It would give us less of a scramble and more of a focus, and getting to focus on the students we have.”

The bill will now head to the house floor for debate.