This Week at the Capitol: March 3

Current Events & News, Legislation | 03/03/2017

Amy Pitlik
Government Affairs Director

Amy is Stand for Children's Government Affairs Director

Happy 303 Day! The Stand for Children team is celebrating our wonderful state this weekend by racing up to the mountains and exploring Denver. The General Assembly saw another slow week with education bills, giving us time to officially launch our new endeavor to improve literacy rates, Read Now Colorado! Now that we’re in March, we expect the pace to pick up as legislators push to get their priority legislation passed before the Long Bill is debated.

Under the Gold Dome

On February 27, the House Education Committee unanimously passed HB17-1160 by Reps. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) and Jim Wilson (R-Salida). The bill, which is similar to legislation introduced last year, would allow districts to decide whether English language learners in grades K-3 must take reading assessments in English or their native languages. If the student takes the assessment in their native language, the district has the option of also administering an additional assessment in English if requested by the student’s parent. The bill is expected to pass the House today on third reading.

HB17-1184, sponsored by Speaker of the House Cristana Duran, passed the House Education Committee on February 27 with an 11-2 vote. This bill would direct the Colorado Department of Education to incorporate subject skills related to information and communications technologies into the state’s academic standards. The department would be required to create a resource bank of materials pertaining to computer science programs, including materials for professional educator development.

The House Committee of the Whole is expected to pass SB17-123 by Rep. Kevin Priola (R-Hendersen) today, March 3. The bill, which already passed the Senate, would allow school districts, BOCES, or Institute charter schools to grant a diploma endorsement in bi-literacy to a student who demonstrates proficiency in English and at least one other foreign language. 

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