Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter Jr. has signed a bill providing $1 billion over five years for school repair and construction. HB 1335, dubbed “Build Excellent Schools Today,” targets schools in rural and poorly funded districts.
A state report in 2003 said that some of the schools were more than 100 years old and that it would cost $4.7 billion to bring them up to modern standards. State Treasurer Cary Kennedy told lawmakers that many districts in Colorado can’t raise enough money to build new schools even at their maximum bonding capacity.
Funds for debt service on the repair and construction program will come from the Colorado School Trust Lands, created in 1876 when Colorado became a state.
Sponsors of HB 1335 were Rep. Andrew Romanoff, D-Denver and Sens. Peter Groff, D-Denver, and Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass Village.