Welcome to this week’s edition of Capitol Week in Review, a weekly update on education policy at the Capitol!
The School Finance Interim Committee unanimously approved three bill drafts which would create a new measure in the public school funding formula for identifying students who are considered “at-risk” of below-average academic outcomes due to socioeconomic disadvantage, increase funding for students with disabilities, and add investments for education through the state land grant.
SB22-008 Higher Education Support For Foster Youth, which will give children in foster care who were placed out of Colorado the undergraduate tuition rate, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on February 3.
SB22-064 Neighborhood Youth Organizations, which requires neighborhood youth organizations to offer programs and services that are evidence- or research-based, age-appropriate, and offers critical resources and services that a community identifies as necessary, is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Education Committee on February 2.
SB22-087 Healthy Meals For All Public School Students was introduced in the Senate. This bill creates a program to reimburse school food authorities for free meals provided to students who are not eligible for free or reduced-price meals.
HB22-1010 Early Childhood Educator Income Tax Credit, which gives educators a tax break for dollars they spend in their classrooms, is scheduled to be heard in the House Education Committee on February 2.
HB22-1052 Promoting Crisis Services To Students, which will earmark funds to promote awareness about public mental health resources, is scheduled to be heard in the Public and Behavioral Health and Human Services Committee on February 1.
HB22-1056 Emergency Temporary Care For Children was introduced in the House. This bill permits county departments of human or social services to provide emergency temporary shelter to children who are neglected and dependent, who are taken into temporary custody, or who have had contact with law enforcement and are unable to return home.
HB22-1131 Reduce Justice-Involvement For Young Children was introduced in the House. This bill prohibits juvenile court prosecution of children 12 years and younger, except for homicide. This bill will also end the transfer of 12- and 13-year-olds from juvenile to adult court.
Colorado’s school finance formula currently disproportionately provides funding to districts where it is more expensive to live when we should be prioritizing resources for students based on need. The School Finance Committee’s proposed bill draft would ensure that that Colorado schools are funded more equitably.
Parent, educator, and Stand Advocacy Fellow, Kaye Taavialma, shared why equitably funding schools is so important in an op-ed, saying, “Our children deserve to be seen for who they are and their wide array of needs. We honor them by funding their development of all these aspects, not simply one or another. Equity calls for that and our humanity must heed that call.”
By automatically sealing records of non-violent offenders, we create pathways for safe and supportive families and communities. Learn more in our Policy Priorities: Clean Slate blog.
For More Information
Colorado Education Bill Tracker 2022, Chalkbeat