School spending plans near final lap in Colorado

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DENVER | Colorado schools are getting a lot more money next year. But the education spending bills nearing completion in the state Legislature haven’t been as popular as they might seem.

Lawmakers this term focused on a school overhaul that was both more popular and more problematic than reforms such as new teacher tenure guidelines. The bills give schools money to make the reforms and backfill years of recession-era cuts.

Two K-12 education bills and a higher-education spending plan put a cumulative $320 million toward education from preschool through college.

Officials from both parties say education spending is a top priority now that Colorado’s revived economy has replenished tax coffers. But the education measures sparked days of intense negotiations over how and where to spend the money.

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