As we near the 100th day of session, the frenzy to pass priority legislation is officially in full swing. Over the next month, we expect to see contentious debates and late night floor hearings as the legislative session starts to wind down.
Under the Gold Dome
HB17-1287 by Reps. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon) and Bob Rankin (R-Carbondale) passed the House Education Committee on April 10 with a 9-4 vote. The bill seeks to create a strategic planning legislative steering committee that will lead a statewide effort to establish a vision and strategic plan for education in Colorado. The steering committee will be responsible for reviewing information already collected by the Departments of Education and Higher Education concerning the state’s education system. It is expected to pass the House on third reading today, April 14, and move on to the Senate.
On April 12, the Senate Education Committee discussed HB17-1003 by Sen. Don Coram (R-Montrose). The bill seeks to require the Colorado Departments of Higher Education and Education to examine the recruitment, preparation, and retention of teachers. The departments must then prepare a strategic plan to address teacher shortages in districts and public schools throughout the state. Stand’s Policy Analyst, Chelsea Henkel, testified in support of the bill. HB 1003 passed on a 5-2 vote and moves on to Senate floor for debate next week.
On April 13, HB17-1181 by Sen. Kevin Priola (R-Hendersen) passed the Senate on second reading. 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. The bill previously passed the Senate Education Committee with a unanimous vote, and is expected to pass the Senate on third reading today.