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Boulder Valley Schools

Boulder Valley School District has among the best schools in the state, the country and the world. Student testing achievements typically average 10/10, putting Boulder schools in the top 5% of public schools in Colorado. Like other Coloradans, Boulder students have one of highest levels of student participation in the country.

BVSD serves 29,239 students in 56 public schools, for the 2022 school year.

Assessing Performance



The Boulder Valley School District consists of seven districts labeled A-G. Terms are four years. Term limits are two terms or 8 years. Shown below is the end of their current terms and the general area of their district.

A—Lisa Sweeney-Miran, Vice President (2023)—CU Main and East Campus to 157 and to Table Mesa to the South

B—Nicole Rajpal (2025)— North Boulder and foothills, Ward

C—Kathy Gebhardt, President (2023)—South Boulder, El Dorado Springs, Nederland

D—Stacey Zis ((2023)—Boulder Airport, Gun Barrel, Walden Pond to 287, Isabel Rd to the south

E—Beth Niznik (2025)—Baseline, South Boulder Rd, Louisville

F—Kell Sargent (2025)—Broomfield Area

G—Richard Garcia (2023)—Lafayette, Good Samaritan Hospital to Erie Airport

Meetings are the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of the month except July (not scheduled), March and December (2nd meeting is usually cancelled). Meetings begin with public comment. The meetings are broadcast on Comcast channel 22.

Declining Enrollment

In 2023, there are 28,425 students enrolled in BVSD schools. Over the past five years, the K-12 Student Population has decreased by 2,744 students, ( 9.8% of the student population.)

2019-20 169 decline
2020-21 – 1,760 decline
2021-22 – 229 decline
2022-23 – 524 decline
2023-24 – 62 decline


The revenue per student in Boulder Valley Schools is $13,328 which is higher than the average for Colorado schools, which average $10,202 per student.


Appropriations for BVSD is $1,118,759,387.

This means that BVSD appropriates $40,075 per studen. ($40,075 per student x 27,916 students = $1,118,759,387.)

Question: Why is the revenue per student $13,328, while the appropriation per student is $40,075?

Source: https://resources.finalsite.net/images/v1684795252/bvsdorg/ldzxmhbunzy4zoutnrsz/2023-24ProposedBudget.pdf

Funding Source Amount

Revenue Per Student

Sources: Colorado Legislative Council Staff. 2019 School Finance in Colorado.


For comparison, Aspen spends $25,566 per pupil and Bayfield spends $37,584 per pupil.

Proposed Budget for 2023-24 school year
= $297,449,662.

How schools are financed in BOULDER

Colorado’s school districts receive state and local funds based on a finance formula first established in 1988 and last revised through the Public School Finance Act of 1994. The total amount of funding that each school district receives through a formula is referred to as “total program,” which includes both the state share and the local share. The formula starts with a base per pupil funding amount and then adjusts that amount for each district by considering the cost of living and district size. In addition to per-pupil funding, districts receive funding for at-risk, online, and ASCENT5 students.

The School Finance Act requires that local revenues be used to fund public education before the state contributes any dollars. This means that the legislature first calculates the local share, derived from property taxes and specific ownership taxes, and then determines the amount the state will allocate to each school district. If the local share is short of what the district needs to fund its total program, then the state contributes the remaining amount. It is important to note that some districts collect and spend property taxes above and beyond those that get allocated toward the school finance act. These additional property taxes are known as voter-approved mill levy overrides..

Once all adjustments are made and district funding levels are established as set forth in the school finance act, the budget stabilization factor is applied to reduce total funding proportionately across school districts. The budget stabilization factor allows the legislature to generate the savings needed to balance its budget while also complying with Amendment 23.

Amendment 23, passed in 2000, requires the base per pupil funding amount in the school finance formula to increase each year by at least the rate of inflation.


For most traditional school districts, property tax revenue from “total program” mills make up the largest source of local funding. This revenue goes towards a school district’s total program funding as set forth in the School Finance Act. The specific ownership tax, which is a tax levied on motor vehicles, makes up a small portion of local revenue and is also included as part of the total program funding. State law allows school districts to collect additional local revenue from voter-approved mill levy overrides and bond redemption mills. Such revenue is not considered in the school finance formula and thus is above and beyond a district’s total program funding.


Mill Levy: A property tax rate based on dollars per thousand of assessed valuation. One mill will generate $1 for every $1,000 of assessed value.

Total Program Mill Levy: Property tax revenue generated from total program mills represents the primary source of local funding for K-12 public education.

Specific ownership tax: a tax levied on motor vehicles. Specific ownership taxes are part of a district’s local contribution to school funding.

State Aid: Funding provided by the state under the school finance act. State aid is the difference between a district’s total funding and what is provided from local property and specific ownership taxes.

Override Mill: Local voter-approved property tax revenue in excess of funding provided through the School Finance Act.
Source: Colorado Legislative Council Staff. 2019 School Finance in Colorado


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