This Week at the Capitol: March 10

Current Events & News, Legislation | 03/10/2017

Amy Pitlik
Government Affairs Director

Amy is Stand for Children's Government Affairs Director

Happy Friday, readers! We are officially into our first week of Read Now Colorado, a statewide project to improve literacy rates among students. If you haven’t had a chance to check out and sign our pledge, here’s your chance! You’ll learn some great tips about how to support your young reader.

While students and families are gearing up for Spring Break, the legislature is pushing through some of their priority legislation before the budget is debated. Coming up, we expect to see some contentious bills around educator accountability, transportation funding, and energy.

Under the Gold Dome

HB17-1184, sponsored by Speaker of the House Cristana Duran (D-Denver), passed the House on March 9 with a 47-18 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.

On March 9, HB17-1181 by Reps. Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) and Paul Lundeen (R-Monument) passed the House on third reading with a unanimous vote. HB 1181 would repeal the requirement for districts to administer PARCC to 9th graders, and replace the assessment with 9th grade PSAT. It remains critically important that assessments are aligned to state standards and show a student’s growth between 8th and 9th grade.

Looking Forward…

On March 23, the Senate Education Committee will discuss HB17-1160 by Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Hendersen). 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 previously passed the House on a 61-4 vote.

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