School Budget Reform

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State lawmakers have introduced a package of school budget reforms to prevent financial crises like the ones now gripping two Colorado districts.

The bills would set strict accounting principles and tighten restrictions on interest-free loans from the state. It would also require districts to turn over assets if they can't repay loans on time.

State Representative Nancy Spence of Centennial says she sympathizes with school board members who do not have accounting backgrounds. She says the new laws will set standards.

Officials in the 22,000 student Saint Vrain Valley School District revealed a $13.8 million shortfall.

The Elizabeth School District recently uncovered a $2.25 million shortfall as well.