Denver Public Schools facing $9 million budget shortfall, expected to be in the red for years

Colorado’s largest school district struggling with declining enrollment, staffing shortages
Denver Public Schools
Posted at 5:28 PM, Jan 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-12 19:28:30-05

Denver Public Schools officials are forecasting the district will run a budget deficit at least through the 2025-26 fiscal year, if it is unable to find significant savings as enrollment shrinks.

The state’s largest school district anticipates a roughly $9 million shortfall at the end of the 2022-23 academic year, an improvement over the $23.5 million deficit officials were predicting only two months ago. Still, the gap would lead DPS to pull $9 million from reserves to balance its budget, according to a presentation district leaders plan to give the Board of Education Thursday.

“We are really trying to run a balanced budget,” said Chuck Carpenter, the district’s chief financial officer. “If we do nothing, this is what is going to happen in the next several years.”

The deficit represents a small percentage of the district’s budget, which often fluctuates. DPS expects to bring in almost $1.27 billion in revenue and spend $1.28 billion during the 2022-23 academic year, according to the slides.

DPS anticipates a smaller-than-expected deficit this year after local taxes increased and the district received more money from the state because its percentage of at-risk students, including those who qualify for free-and-reduced lunch, rose.

Read the full story from our partners at The Denver Post.