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At-Risk Measure for School Finance Working Group


Beginning in FY 2023-24, HB 22-1202 created a new at-risk measure in the school finance formula to identify students who are at risk of below-average academic outcomes due to socioeconomic disadvantage or poverty. The new measure included:   

  • a district’s percentage of students certified as eligible for free lunch based on receipt of public benefits (SNAP, TANF, Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservation) or categorical eligibility (foster, homeless, migrant, runaway or Head Start), supplemented by the direct certification of students participating in Medicaid or Children’s Basic Health Plan;
  • a neighborhood socioeconomic status index that weights student needs based on at least five socioeconomic status neighborhood factors, linked to each student’s census block group.

The bill required the Commissioner of Education to convene a working group to prepare for the implementation of the new measure. The working group consisted of representatives from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE), Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF), the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), and a variety of education-related groups. The working group met from August 8, 2022 through December 12, 2022, and provided a report to the Legislative Interim Committee on School Finance, Joint Budget Committee, and education committees by January 31, 2023.  The bill specifies topics that the working group considered, including but not limited to:   

  • collecting the necessary data to implement the measure;  
  • developing the neighborhood socioeconomic status index and determining the five index factors;  
  • determining how a student’s neighborhood socioeconomic index value should be incorporated;   
  • conducting pre-implementation modeling and testing with actual data;   
  • considering the impact of the new measure on other programs;
  • determining the distribution of at-risk funding, how districts and charter schools will demonstrate that at-risk funding is being used to serve at-risk students, the process for initially identifying students, and the design of a hold-harmless provision.

While the new at-risk measure was to be implemented starting with the 2023-2024 school year, SB23-287 as Amended extended the implementation of the new at-risk measure requirement to the 2024-2025 budget year.

SB24-188 further extended implementation of the new at-risk measure to the 2025-2026 budget year.


HB22-1202 established the stakeholder groups that were represented in the working group. In addition to working group members appointed by the Executive Directors of the Departments of Health Care Policy and Financing and Human Services, the working group included representatives from each of the following groups:

Staff Of The Department Of Education; Staff Of The State Charter School Institute; District Chief Financial Officers Or School Finance Directors; Superintendents Of Districts; School Principals And Directors Of Charter Schools; School Social Workers Or Nurses; Child Welfare Education Liaisons; The Education Data Advisory Committee Created In Section 22-2-304; A Statewide Organization That Represents Educators; A Statewide Organization That Represents School District Boards Of Education; A Statewide Advocacy Group For Charter Schools; An Advocacy Organization That Represents Rural Districts; A Statewide Organization That Represents Parents; A Statewide Organization That Represents School Nutrition Service Providers; Advocacy Groups For Children In Poverty; Advocacy Groups Working To End Hunger In Colorado; Any Other Groups With Relevant Qualifications Or Expertise.

View the working group roster (PDF)

Meeting Resources

August 8, 2022 - School Finance Background

August 15, 2022 - Meeting #1

September 12, 2022 - Meeting #2


​October 17, 2022 - Meeting #3


November 14, 2022 - Meeting #4

​December 12, 2022 - Meeting #5

Other Resources

New At-Risk Measure Update (SB23-287) - March 2024

EDAC Update on New At-Risk Measure - June 2023

At-Risk Measure for School Finance – May 2023

EDAC Update on New At-Risk Measure - March 2023

Presentation to the State Board of Education – February 2023

Report of the New At-Risk Measure for School Finance Working Group - January 2023

American Community Survey  

Urban Institute Report to the Interim Committee on School Finance (PDF) 


Contact Us

Amy Carman, Executive Director of School Finance and Grants CDE -