DENVER - A House panel has pared back education funding reforms that the Senate passed with bipartisan fanfare earlier this month.
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate had joined in the reforms.
But Monday, an equally bipartisan group in the House Education Committee rolled them back.
The highest-profile change was to a new "Centers of Excellence" program for schools with at-risk students.
The Senate devoted $4.5 million to paying schools based on how well their at-risk students perform, not merely how many attend the school.
The House Education Committee knocked the funding back to $250,000.
However, the idea's originator still was pleased.
"From small acorns do big oaks grow," said Sen. Chris Romer, D-Denver.
The Senate also wanted to create a boarding school for at-risk students; the House panel voted to delay creation of the school and study it instead.
Romer is the sponsor of Senate Bill 256, the annual School Finance Act.
The bulk of the bill parcels out the $5.5 billion the state of Colorado spends on schools every year.
But Romer and his Senate allies added programs such as the boarding school and Centers of Excellence in a bid to win the Obama administration's "Race to the Top," a contest among states to get extra stimulus money in return for education reforms.
Romer still feels confident Colorado will win, even with Monday's changes.
Several members of the House Education Committee, including Chairman Mike Merrifield, disagree with the idea of funding schools based on the test scores of its students.
"I've said for seven years now that we should be concentrating on the schools that are struggling, on the kids who are struggling. In some ways, success is its own reward," said Merrifield, D-Colorado Springs.
The bill now goes to the House Appropriations Committee.