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BEST Financial Information
How is BEST Funded?
The BEST assistance fund has four revenue sources:
- State Land Trust Funds
- The greater of fifty percent of the gross amount of public school lands income, other than interest or income earned on the deposit and investment of moneys in the public school fund received during the fiscal year, or forty million dollars.
- Public school lands income comes from:
- (a) The sale of timber on public school lands, rental payments for the use and occupation of public school lands, and rental or lease payments for sand, gravel, clay, stone, coal, oil, gas, geothermal resources, gold, silver, or other minerals from public school lands;
- (b) Royalties and other payments for the extraction of any natural resources on public school lands; and
- (c) Interest or income earned on the deposit and investment of moneys in the public school fund.
- Marijuana Excise Taxes
- The first forty million dollars received and collected from annual excise tax collected from retail recreational marijuana sales is transferred into the BEST Program Assistance Fund. May of 2015 marked the first grant cycle that utilized these revenues.
- How the marijuana tax revenue is distributed
- Colorado Lottery Funds
- Any proceeds earned beyond the Great Outdoors Colorado allowable cap are directed to the Colorado Department of Education’s BEST Program Assistance Fund and used to address health and safety issues in public schools.
- Interest Earned
- Interest earned on the assistance fund is also used to fund grant projects.
All revenues are collected in one fund, called the Assistance Fund, which is used to administer annual competitive grants to school districts, charter schools, institute charter schools, boards of cooperative educational services, and the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind. These BEST funds can be used for capital improvements such as new school construction as well as general repair, renovation and remodel of existing school facility systems and structures. Projects receiving grant funds do not receive revenues from one single source; the Division is therefore unable to determine specific amounts from available revenue sources which went towards a specific project.
The BEST Program is committed to maintaining financial transparency on all levels. You can find the BEST Legislative Reports by fiscal year, the current BEST Revenue and Expense Report, various financial charts and graphs, and the BEST Offering Statements all listed below.
BEST Legislative Reports
BEST Revenue and Expense Report, Financial Charts and Fact Sheet
BEST Offering Statements
For more information or if an alternative version of a document is needed, please contact BESTSchools@cde.state.co.us or call 303-866-2153.