DENVER (KDVR) — The cost of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to cost the state billions of dollars.
Now, the Legislature is looking for ways cut spending and balance the budget.
There are concerns the full-day kindergarten program could be at risk.
School districts around the state are watching to see what kind of cuts will be made to the state’s budget for schools next year.
Meghan Zollars, who has a daughter in kindergarten, is concerned.
“It’s kind of scary because kindergarten is a big stepping stone in schools. Maybe kids who have learning disabilities won’t be able to get the attention or they will struggle more because they don’t identify it earlier,” Zollars said.
One of the districts monitoring the situation closely is the Big Sandy School District in Simla – which had just gotten full-day kindergarten after fighting for it for years.
Talk of budget cuts has the district wondering what happens next.
Big Sandy School District Superintendent Steve Wilson said, “Here we go again. They said they were going to fund something and there’s a possibility that they are not going to fund it.”
FOX31 asked the Gov. Jared Polis if kindergarten funds could experience cuts.
“We’re going to tighten our belt and of course the state has balanced budget requirements. But we are going to do our best to keep the programs that are important to Coloradans intact,” said Polis.
The state had just funded roughly $200 million for kids across the state in the last legislative session.
In other budget talks Monday, legislators discussed cutting some funds to veterans’ programs. It’s unclear if that will happen.
The Joint Budget Committee working on balancing the budget is meeting this week.
There should be a clearer picture of where cuts will be taking place in the days to come.