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BEST Grant Program
Established in 2008 with the signing of C.R.S.22-43.7, BEST provides an annual amount of funding in the form of 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. BEST funds can be used for the construction of new schools as well as general construction and renovation of existing school facility systems and structures.
FY2020-2021 Grant Cycle Update:
Thank you to BOCES, charter and district schools that participated in the Fiscal Year 20-21 BEST Grant Review meeting. As mentioned during the meeting, this grant round is unlike any other in the past because we do not yet have a definitive dollar amount to award projects.
The number of grants ultimately awarded will depend on appropriations identified in the Long Bill and votes by the State Board of Education (SBE) and Capital Development Committee (CDC). Many projects will also depend on local bond initiatives in November. And, lastly, the number of projects funded through Certificates of Participation (COP) will be subject to appropriations as well as decisions made by the State Treasurer, taking into account market conditions and any subsequent sale of COPs.
As it stands today, the State budget is not set. Below is a draft schedule (subject to change):
- Week of May 18: Joint Budget Committee voted to reduce BEST Cash Grants to $25M. Given statute, and the prioritized list, this may affect award of COP projects as well.
- May 26: Legislature targeting to return to session
- June 10-11: The State Board will meet to review and vote to approve the prioritized project list
- By June 12 the Legislature should have adopted a budget and School Finance Act which both will then go to Gov. Polis for final signature
- July 15: CDC plans to meet to review and vote to approve COP projects on the prioritized list.
Given this timeline, we finished the May Meeting with a prioritized list of projects, with no actual funding line set. We will update the list as often as we can as more information is made available to us. Thank you for your patience.
Happy ten-year anniversary to the Building Excellent Schools Today grant program! Since 2008 BEST has awarded approximately $2.5 billion in grants to more than 525 Colorado schools, improving health, safety and security for nearly 300,000 students.
With funding from The Colorado State Land Board, Colorado Lottery, marijuana excise tax, and local matching dollars, BEST continues to improve Colorado’s educational environments through capital construction projects helping schools to realize CDE's vision that "All students graduate ready for college and careers, and are prepared to be productive citizens of Colorado."
2020-2021 BEST Grant Cycle
BEST Legislative Reports
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.