This week we are sharing key updates around legislative activity at the Capitol.
On Wednesday, January 13, the Colorado General Assembly gaveled in for a “soft opening”. The legislature worked through Friday and plans to reconvene in mid-February due to COVID safety concerns. The three-day session was focused on minor, time-sensitive related bills. Although no education-specific bills went before the legislature, lawmakers have signaled what to expect when session reconvenes in February.
The Governor's office released a package of requests for supplemental adjustments to the FY 2021-22 budget. One request was for the legislature to “employ a more equitable allocation of state finances for education”, recognizing the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on high-needs school districts. The Governor is encouraging the legislature to reform the state’s School Finance Formula to better serve low-income students, English-language learners, and students with disabilities.
The impact of COVID on schools and education funding will continue to be at the center of lawmaking conversations. We expect focus on assessments, accountability, and the READ Act, Colorado’s state literacy policy. We also anticipate more focused bills around teacher diversity, school discipline, and mental health.
This legislative session, we continue to focus on our priorities around early literacy, early childhood, high school success, and racial justice. We will be advocating for:
- Increased education funding and ensure that resources are more equitably distributed and spent well
- Every student to read on grade level
- Well prepared, high quality, and diverse educators in every school
- Expansion of high-quality pre-k opportunities across Colorado
- 9th graders to complete their first year of high school on-track to graduate
- Policies to dramatically increase racial equity in schools and dismantle the policies that disproportionally lead to disciplinary actions against students of color
For More Information
REFRESHER RESOURCE: In a Nutshell: How a Bill Becomes a Law